A state police affidavit offered new details of a Friday shooting, recounting a long-term love triangle that preceded the apparent planned killing of a Snow Shoe man.
Matthew R. Dreibelbis, 37, of Howard, was charged Saturday with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, aggravated assault, possessing instruments of a crime and simple assault in connection with the shooting. Bail was denied and he remains incarcerated at the Centre County Correctional Facility.
The shooting was reported early Friday, the affidavit of probable cause said, when state police at Rockview troopers were dispatched at 7:11 a.m. to the 200 block of North Moshannon Avenue in Snow Shoe. A female resident reported walking her dog near the resident when she saw Jeremy D. Cantolina, 38, lying between two vehicles in the driveway at his residence.
She called 911 when no one answered the door at the residence, police said. EMS personnel were the first to arrive on the scene and began performing CPR, but were unable to revive Cantolina.
Troopers arrived shortly after, police said, and observed blood on the ground. Removal of Cantolina’s hat reportedly revealed a gunshot wound on the top of his head. No firearm or casings were found at the scene.
A witness reported hearing two shots earlier, police said.
Troopers made contact with Cantolina’s wife, police said, who consented to an interview at the Rockview barracks. She reportedly discussed her husband’s daily routine, during which time he would transfer two children’s car seats from his truck to her vehicle and retrieve them after work.
A child’s car seat spattered with blood had been found at the scene, police said.
The wife stated she had four children, police said, one of whom was fathered by Dreibelbis while she and Cantolina were separated. She reportedly revealed she was engaged in a long-term extramarital affair with Dreibelbis, and that he drove a Chevrolet Equinox.
She stated Dreibelbis had been seen in multiple locations near her work place, the affidavit said, and had allegedly stated multiple times that he wanted to kill Cantolina. About two weeks ago, she said, he reportedly told her “everything will be solved soon, that Cantolina will be gone and that she may find him dead in the driveway someday.”
During the interview, troopers learned that Dreibelbis had attempted to obtain a permit to carry a firearm from the Centre County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 4, police said. The permit was denied, and Cantolina’s wife had been listed as a reference.
Troopers interviewed the owner of the Equinox, police said, who told them she was aware of the affair between Dreibelbis and the wife and described herself as a “mediator between them.” She reportedly saw Dreibelbis in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and had recalled seeing him wearing a pair of gloves while using a “type of pliers or tongs” to hold ammunition while cleaning it with alcohol.
Dreibelbis had reportedly last been seen at the Snow Shoe campground, police said, so troopers responded to the area. Dreibelbis and the Equinox were both located, and he was taken into custody and transported to the barracks.
He was interviewed at about 8:40 p.m. Friday, police said, when he allegedly waived his Miranda rights and agreed to talk to troopers. He reportedly confessed to the killing, saying about one month earlier he was thinking about killing Cantolina so he began cleaning his ammunition with alcohol in order to remove evidence.
At about 2 a.m. that day, he told troopers he had driven to Cantolina’s residence, parked a distance away and concealed himself behind the garage, police said. He reportedly confronted Cantolina when he came out to his truck, firing two shots before fleeing the scene.
Dreibelbis said he used a .38-caliber revolver, police said, which he allegedly concealed at his brother’s residence after the shooting.
He said Cantolina’s wife would repeatedly state “she wished he was gone,” police said, telling Dreibelbis “she needed to be taken care of.” The suspect reportedly said he knew Cantolina was enrolled in a life insurance plan and the settlement would take care of her.
Dreibelbis agreed that he “killed for love,” police said.
No attorney is listed for Dreibelbis yet. A preliminary hearing is slated for 10 a.m. Aug. 23.