Man indicted in homeless man’s death

April 27, 2019

HUNTINGTON — A man accused of shooting and killing a homeless man in October 2018 has been indicted on murder charges by a Cabell County grand jury.

Ronald Eugene Flowers, 44, of Michigan, was indicted on charges of murder and persons prohibited from possessing a firearm in connection with the killing of Jason Allen Shank near the intersection of 17th Street and 10th Avenue in Huntington just before 1 a.m. Oct. 18, 2018.

The Herald-Dispatch previously reported Shank, who was homeless, was discovered by area residents on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound to his head. Flowers was arrested around 11:45 a.m. the next day in the 1600 block of Artisan Avenue.

Flowers was denied bond in February by Cabell Circuit Judge Gregory Howard after being jailed for four months with no indictment. Flowers’ attorney, Russ Cook, said his client never received a bond and should be entitled to one.

In West Virginia, a defendant has the right for a reasonable bond to be set in every case, except for those involving first-degree murder. When someone is charged with first-degree murder, it is up to a circuit court judge to decide if a bond should be set.

Flowers remains housed in Western Regional Jail.

According to the indictment, Flowers was previously convicted of felony armed robbery in November 1999 in Michigan.

An indictment is a formal charge made against a person by a grand jury. It does not establish guilt or innocence.