A Texas man told authorities that he was talking with the wife of a former Delaware County sheriff when she allegedly shot Lenden Woodruff and then tried to manipulate the scene of the crime.
Lenden Woodruff, 50, suffered two gunshot wounds on Sunday and was airlifted to the Washington County Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, Ark., where he was listed in stable condition.
Before being taken to the hospital, the victim reportedly told police that his wife was the shooter.
Randel Raison, a court reporter in Houston, said Candyce “Candy” Rowe Woodruff had been working for him for about three weeks and he was talking with her when she allegedly shot the former sheriff.
Candy Woodruff, a former Grove newspaper editor, quit her job in March and had recently accepted her first freelance assignment with All Professionals Litigation Support Team Inc., according to Raison who owns the business.
Raison said he met Candy Woodruff about 12 years ago when the two worked together at a private law firm in south Florida and they've kept in contact since.
According to an incident report, when authorities responded to a domestic violence report on the day prior to the shooting, Candy Woodruff had said she didn't have any money to buy gasoline because she was drawing worker's compensation of only $150 per week and “drinking most of that up.”
District Attorney Eddie Wyant confirmed on Tuesday that his office received a three-page written statement that appears to be identical to the one sent to the news media from Raison. In that statement, Raison alleges that the following events occurred when he called the Colcord cabin in response to an e-mail in which Candy Woodruff had asked him to call her.
Raison said he placed the call at approximately 5:15 p.m. on the day of the shooting.
“When she answered the phone, she sounded intoxicated. She proceeded to tell me that ‘Lenden has been abusing me for years, and everyone knows it,' while she was whimpering and intermittently crying,” Raison wrote. “Periodically, during our approximate 10-minute phone call, she would shout to Lenden ‘get away from me.'”
Raison said they continued to talk about work and commented that since Candy Woodruff appeared to have “some issues to deal with,” they agreed he would re-assign the project to someone else and she would e-mail what was completed to him.
That e-mail never arrived, according to Raison,
“Toward the very end of our conversation, I heard a loud ‘bang,'” Raison said, prompting him to immediately inquire as to what had just happened.
“I just shot him,” Candy Woodruff said, and repeated herself, according to Raison, when he asked for clarification.
“Where did you shoot him?” Raison asked.
“In the heart,” Candy Woodruff allegedly told Raison.
Candy Woodruff reportedly told Raison that she'd used a .22-caliber pistol, before indicating she had to cut the conversation short and call 911 because “he's bleeding all over the place.”
Raison told investigators that, a few moments later, he called Candy Woodruff a second time and she answered the phone in a “very calm” manner and said, “I couldn't take the abuse anymore, it has to stop.”
According to Raison, when he asked if Lenden Woodruff was alive, Candyce Woodruff replied, “I don't know, I guess I shot him in the stomach instead of the heart, but the paramedics will be here soon enough.”
Candy Woodruff went on to describe, according to Raison, how she'd cleaned off the gun and put it in her husband's hand so that it would appear as if he'd shot himself, before announcing that she had to hang up the telephone because authorities had arrived.
Raison said he called the couple's Colcord cabin a third time and Candy Woodruff answered the telephone sobbing, “Lenden shot himself in the stomach.”
“Oh my God, are you kidding me?” Raison said was his response.
“I can't talk right now, I have to talk to the police,” Candy Woodruff reportedly said.
Raison said when he placed the fourth and final call to the couple's cabin, a woman answered the phone identifying herself as Ann (Luper) and advised that Candy Woodruff was in the back of the police car, under arrest.
Raison said he advised Luper to provide the police with the caller identification information so that they could contact him for information.