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Woman killed with crossbow; son held

By Associated Press
Published October 12, 2004

PALM CITY - A man is facing a murder charge after fatally shooting his mother with a crossbow, officials said.

Bruce Charles Neal, 42, had quarreled with his mother, Jean Neal, 79, over her will, officials said.

The son later told Martin County sheriff's officials that after taking a bike ride to cool off, he took a crossbow from the trunk of his car and shot a phone book "so he could impress his mother with the power of the cross bow." When she wasn't impressed, he shot her in the chest, the report said.

Bruce Neal told authorities he pulled out the arrow before calling 911. He told a dispatcher "it wasn't an accident" and that he was bipolar.

Police reported they found Jean Neal on the floor of the kitchen and a bloody arrow on the kitchen counter. She was pronounced dead at Martin Memorial Medical Center.

Ruth and Gerry Mefferd, neighbors on the upscale cul-de-sac, said Jean Neal was a retired nurse who moved to Florida eight years ago with her husband. He died in April. Bruce Neal, an unemployed handyman, worked for neighbors, the couple said.

"We all said we don't know what we'd do without him," said Ruth Mefferd, 89. "Nobody in the neighborhood understands."

At a court hearing Monday, Bruce Neal was ordered held without bail.

[Last modified October 11, 2004, 23:37:13]

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