Man accused of shooting woman in face with crossbow denies claims: ‘She’s lying out of her teeth’

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The man accused of shooting a woman with a crossbow says he didn't do it.

Janet Partain landed in a hospital after her face was pierced by a crossbow. She says Joseph Avellino is to blame. He says otherwise.

"She's lying out of her teeth, period," Avellino said. He says it was actually his fiance who fired the crossbow. "My girl is on target with that bow."

Joseph Avellino

He's sharing his account of what happened Monday afternoon, because he's tired of being made out to be the bad guy. He says Partain came onto his property throwing rocks and ready for trouble.

"I have children, and I would never ever put a child in danger."

He says he's a handyman and was doing some work for the Partain family. Someone in the family accused him of stealing a toolbox while working, and the family got into it with his fiance.

The couple went home and assumed the problem was squashed until, "I was in the shower and I heard, 'boom, boom," Avellino said.

He saw Janet Partain trying to kick down the door. That's when Avellino told his fiance to protect herself.

"I said, 'Grab your bow and shoot her with it.' She said, 'It's eight or nine of them with guns out here."

Sensing her fear, Avellino says he reacted. "That's when I jumped out the shower butt naked, and I opened the door. Once I opened the door she had pulled a gun, and Becca shot and got her."

He claims Partain had a gun and his fiance used the crossbow to stop things from escalating.

"They were coming to kill everybody."

Though he thinks his family avoided the worse case scenario, Avellino is now charged with first-degree battery and endangering a minor.

"It's bothering me, because I do care what people think."

He says his family has no choice but to move, because they're now getting threats.

Partain was able to drive herself to the hospital after being hit and is still recovering from surgery.

Janet Partain is shown with stitches after a crossbow arrow was removed from her face. She drove herself to an Arkansas hospital.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.