News and Tribune

December 11, 2013

Murder charge filed after nephew shot by uncle in Jeffersonville home dies from injuries

Jeremy Swank charged with murder in Michael Metcalf's death

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

JEFFERSONVILLE — A man involved in a shooting at a Jeffersonville home Saturday was charged with murder after the victim — his nephew — died from his injuries at University of Louisville Hospital Monday night.

Jeremy Swank, 34, was charged Wednesday with murder and class D felony obstruction of justice for the actions that led to the death of Michael Metcalf, 20.

Swank is claiming, however, he accidentally shot Metcalf in the basement of the Cherry Drive home, where both men lived at the time of the shooting.

Brad Jacobs, Swank’s attorney, said Wednesday that no evidence exists of intent to commit a murder.

He said Swank’s girlfriend, who also lives in the home, has reported the two men had a good relationship and there was no argument or animosity before the fatal shot was fired.

According to a police affidavit, the shooting was initially reported as a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Jeffersonville Police Detective Todd Hollis said, however, the injury is “inconsistent with a self-inflicted wound.”

After the shooting, Swank was questioned at the Jeffersonville Police Department, where he reported that he had “accidentally discharged the weapon multiple times,” according to the affidavit.

The obstruction of justice results from the Swank placing the firearm in Metcalf’s hand before police arrived to the home.

Swank has admitted to positioning the gun in Metcalf’s hand after he 911 was called from the home.

Jacobs said it was a “stupid” act for Swank to have altered the positioning of the gun, but it does not make him guilty of murder.

“That is an act of panic, but not evidence of intent to kill,” Jacobs said.

According to online court records, Swank is scheduled to appear for a pretrial conference in February.