Sheriff's deputies continue investigation into Finley fatal shooting

Investigators in Benton County are working to determine if charges could be filed against a man who allegedly shot and killed another man in Finley last week.

Charges may not be filed if the Benton County prosecutor determines that the fatal shooting was justified.

The shooting took place Friday afternoon outside a home on East Bowles Road.

Deputies say 53 year-old Jerry Barton got in a heated argument with his step-father, 74 year-old Oliver James Smith.

Smith's grandson, 24 year-old Timothy Brown who lives next door, heard the argument, and ran out of the house with a gun.

He fired a warning shot into the air, and says he saw his grandfather on the ground, with Barton standing over him.

Brown says Barton then lunged toward him and grabbed his wrists, but he fired the gun again, shooting Barton.

"In the state of Washington, you have a right to defend not only yourself, but you also have the right to defend others. But the use of force has to be reasonable under the circumstances, and there has to be a certain degree of force that either the other person, in this case, the 74 year-old grandfather was facing, or that the person who did the shooting was facing after he came to his grandfather's aid" said Andy Miller, Benton County prosecutor.

After deputies questioned Timothy Brown, they released him.

Investigators do not believe he poses any danger and they do not believe he will try to leave the area.

Sheriff's deputies hope to wrap up their investigation in about two weeks.

Then, they'll hand off their findings to Miller who will determine if any charges should be filed.

The Benton County coroner has ruled Jerry Barton's death a homicide.

However, the coroner's ruling does not indicate any criminal activity.