A Nebo man involved in the shooting death of a man in January now faces murder charges, authorities said Tuesday.

Capt. Shanon Smith of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged Justin Ryan Fowler, 27, of 152 Walker Road in Nebo, with murder.

At 4:25 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18, deputies responded to 152 Walker Road in Nebo and found 28-year-old John Christopher Hubbard, of 94 Clay Rock Drive in Nebo, dead from a gunshot wound to the chest.

The incident occurred at Fowler’s home. Fowler told authorities that morning that Hubbard shot himself.

“We were very skeptical from the beginning about Fowler’s story,” said Smith. “We have conducted numerous interviews and examined evidence and came to the conclusion that the wound was not self-inflicted. Fowler did shoot and kill Hubbard.”

Smith said the investigation revealed that the two men got into an argument over a missing electronic tablet, at which time Fowler hit Hubbard in the head then shot him in the chest with a small-caliber handgun. A person inside the residence at the time called 911 shortly after, according to reports.

A Crimestoppers report was released in early Sept. seeking information about Fowler prior to his arrest on Oct. 27.

Fowler is being held in custody with no bond.

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