North Carolina Father Sought in Killing of Man Accused in his Son's Death

PHOTO: Toby Mathas is seen at an appearance in court in December 2010.PlayABC News
WATCH Dad Sought in Revenge Killing

North Carolina authorities say they are looking for a father who they believe, on Wednesday night, fatally shot the man charged in the December death of his son.

Early this morning, Transylvania County sheriff's deputies say they found the silver sport utility vehicle that witnesses said Richard O'Shields, 45, of Little River, drove away in after allegedly killing Toby Mathis at a Dollar General store in Rosman, N.C. The car was found at a relative's house but deputies did not find O'Shields.

Mathis, 27, of Lake Toxaway, N.C., and O'Shields' son Joey, 20, were involved in an argument in December when Joey O'Shields jumped onto Mathis' truck. Mathis was dating Joey O'Shields' former girlfriend, who was also in the truck. Joey O'Shields fell onto the roadway while Mathis was driving and later died, according to Transylvania County authorities.

Mathis was awaiting trial on a charge of felony involuntary manslaughter, but, according to ABC affiliate WLOS-TV, Richard O'Shields thought that was too light.

"I know the law is doing everything in their powers as far as charging," Richard O'Shields told WLOS-TV on Dec. 20. "They can only charge what evidence they've got or whatever. That still don't work for me."

Family: Father Wanted First Degree Murder Charges

"Ever since the incident in December, there has been strained relations between the two families," Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney told The Asheville Citizen-Times. "It is safe to say that the family had some concerns about what actions he [Richard O'Shields] may take."

Richard O'Shields sons Chris and David said their father wanted Mathis to be charged with first degree murder. They also told WLOS-TV that Mathis had harassed their father.

"Even when he got locked up for involuntary manslaughter -- that's what they first charged him with -- no other charges have been brought on. I think that's why my daddy did it, because of the harassment, the hurt, the grief."

North Carolina Man Suspected of Revenge Killing

Authorities say warrants charging Richard O'Shields with first degree murder have been issued.

ABC affiliate WLOS-TV contributed to this article.