UPDATE: Signed statement from shooter details altercation that led to a Vidor man's death.
One man is dead and a woman in custody on charges of murder murder after a shooting that took place Wednesday, Nov. 28, on Terry Road in Vidor. According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), Julia Rhoton Andrews, 58, of Vidor was arrested after confessing to investigators she shot and killed Randy Peddy, 42, also from Vidor.
Orange County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call regarding a disturbance at a residence in the 1400 block of Terry Road at about 9:45 p.m. Nov. 28. While the sheriff’s dispatcher was on the phone with the caller, the caller reported that shots could be heard outside the residence. When deputies arrived at the scene, they observed a white male “lying lifeless in the yard of the residence,” according to the news release. Emergency medical personnel with Acadian Ambulance and the Vidor Fire Department responded to the scene and determined Peddy was deceased.
The Orange County Homicide Investigation Team went to the residence and questioned witnesses there, including Andrews, the shooter. Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Judge Rodney Price declared Peddy dead and ordered an autopsy. The victim was transported to the Jefferson County Morgue for examination.
Andrews was taken to the OCSO where she was questioned further regarding the incident. During the interview, she told officers she and the deceased had a verbal and physical altercation during which she shot and killed Peddy. According to the probable cause affidavit for the arrest of Andrews completed by OCSO Detective Kevin Tate, Patrol Deputy Donnie Helton and other deputies initially responded to the scene of the shooting. Upon his arrival, Deputy Helton observed Peddy’s limp body on the ground at the residence. At that time, paramedics arrived and determined Peddy was deceased.
Detective Tate stated in the affidavit that Andrews prepared a written statement of her account of the events leading up to Peddy’s death. In the statement, she indicated she and Peddy argued and then he stood on top of her car “causing damage to it.” She then pulled him by his feet causing him to fall onto the hood of the vehicle. She claimed it was then that Peddy physically assaulted her. She stated that following the physical altercation she went inside her home, locked the door and retrieved a loaded .22 caliber rifle. She then unlocked the front door and walked back outside onto her front porch. Peddy was still standing around “where she had left him when she entered her home.” She told officers she fired a single shot from the rifle to the left of Peddy. According to Andrews, Peddy opened his shirt and said, “Go ahead and shoot me.”Andrews told investigators she then fired another shot, this time into Peddy’s chest. She stated that he fell to the ground and she went back into the house, placing the rifle in its original location. After replacing the rifle, she told the other two residents that she had just shot Peddy.
Dr. Robert E. Lyon, forensic pathologist at the Jefferson County Forensic Center, performed the autopsy on Peddy the day after the shooting. The preliminary autopsy report indicated the cause of death was a gunshot wound that punctured the aortic valve and the right ventricle of the victim’s heart. The death was ruled a homicide.
Andrews was arrested for murder and is being held at the Orange County Correctional Facility on a $250,000 bond. What started the argument is unclear, but OCSO Sgt. Chad Hogan said Peddy was Andrews’ daughter’s boyfriend.
“From what we gather, (Peddy) was intoxicated,” Hogan said. “He became very upset when he was told the police were being called.”
Hogan said the decision to arrest Andrews for murder was made by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. When asked why the shooting was not deemed self-defense considering the fact Peddy was on Andrews’ property and she claimed there was a physical altercation, Hogan replied, “I was kind of surprised myself.”
Orange County District Attorney John Kimbrough was not available for comment. The case is still being investigated.