Matthew Dreibelbis, accused in the shooting death of Jeremy Cantolina, was bound over on all charges Wednesday after a preliminary hearing at the Centre County Courthouse.
Dreibelbis, 37, was taken into custody late Aug. 11 after a neighbor reported finding Cantolina, 38, lying in his driveway along North Moshannon Avenue in Snow Shoe borough. EMS responded to the scene, according to police, but were unable to revive Cantolina.
The affidavit of probable cause alleged that Dreibelbis waited for Cantolina in the early morning hours of Aug. 11, confronting and shooting him outside his garage before leaving the area. He is charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, aggravated assault, possessing instruments of a crime and simple assault.
A state police criminal investigator testified Wednesday to arriving at the scene of the shooting after EMS had responded. Referring to crime scene photos provided by the prosecution, he said Cantolina typically left for work at about 5 a.m., and that his wife had heard his alarm go off that morning at about 3 a.m.
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He further testified to the relationship between Dreibelbis and Cantolina’s wife, saying they were engaged in a “long-term extramarital affair,” which had resulted in a child born in 2015. Dreibelbis would reportedly meet with her at her work, bringing her money and flowers.
The wife stated to police that Dreibelbis had in the past made statements about her husband, the investigator said, saying “someday she won’t have to worry about him” or that he would “turn up dead in their driveway.” The investigator further testified that Dreibelbis had asked her about Cantolina’s work schedule, which she reportedly provided to him.
The investigator noted that the autopsy report listed the manner of death as a homicide, with the cause as a gunshot wound to the head. The bullet itself had been retrieved and entered into evidence.
Dreibelbis ultimately admitted to the shooting, the investigator testified, saying he had been awake at about 2 a.m. that morning thinking about killing Cantolina. He reportedly dressed in a camouflage hoodie and dark jeans, parked away from the house and waited outside the garage.
A neighbor reported hearing gunshots at about 5 a.m., the investigator said, leading police to believe — along with the time Cantolina normally left for work — that the shooting had occurred at around that time. Dreibelbis then reportedly left, concealing the gun and clothes at relatives’ houses.
Dreibelbis “did it for love,” the investigator testified, saying there were no details of custody issues, that he simply wanted to be with Cantolina’s wife and wanted Cantolina out of the picture.
The case moves up to the Centre County Court of Common Pleas and toward trial. Dreibelbis was returned to the Centre County Correctional Facility with no bail.
District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said the case is still under investigation.