SYLVA, N.C. – The hunt for a man accused of pushing his way into a domestic violence shelter and shooting his wife to death was expanded nationwide Friday.
John “Woody” Raymond Woodring, 35, was believed to have fled in a stolen car from this town of about 2,500 people in the Great Smoky Mountains in the far western corner of North Carolina, near the Tennessee state line.
Woodring, a graduate student and teaching assistant at Western Carolina University, was considered armed and dangerous, authorities said. He was charged with first-degree murder, in addition to domestic violence charges alleging he violated a protective order and tried to strangle his wife at her home Sept. 14.
Bonnie Woodring, 48, moved into the shelter after that attack. In court records, she said her husband “keeps tabs on where I am 24/7” and had threatened her 13-year-old son from a previous relationship.
On Monday night, her husband, armed with a shotgun, pushed past a staff worker who was leaving the shelter for the night, then shot his wife in the kitchen, investigators said.
Bonnie Woodring and her son were the shelter’s only occupants. The boy heard the shooting from another room, but was not hurt.
On the couple’s Web site, Woodring begged for forgiveness in one of his last messages to his wife. He promised he would change and the violence would end.
That message was similar to a newspaper advertisement he paid for almost 10 years ago that sought to win back a previous wife after he was charged with assaulting her.