Crime

What happened during an alleged attempted homicide? Testimony reveals more details

Lance Shaffer
Lance Shaffer

A Union County man was bound over for trial on two attempted homicide charges after allegedly firing several rounds at two people in Miles Township.

State police at Rockview said Lance Shaffer, 36, rammed his vehicle into David Shoemaker’s on Aug. 4. He is also accused of pulling Kimberly Kline from Shoemaker’s car, putting a gun to her head and threatening her life. Shaffer didn’t pull the trigger, which allowed Shoemaker and Kline to escape into the woods.

Shoemaker, 29, testified Wednesday about their exchange.

“He was definitely threatening. He said he was going to end everything right there and was pretty much saying we were history,” Shoemaker testified.

After Shoemaker and Kline ran into the woods, Shaffer left the scene, but eventually returned and got into a physical altercation with Shoemaker.

“He tried to get his gun out, pulled it out. Hit him with a couple elbows, got a hold of the gun, put it to his head and said I should blow his brains out instead. He made his own peace, but I hit him with it,” Shoemaker testified. “I told him, ‘If you jump on me again, I’m going to pull the freaking trigger.’ ”

Attorney Lance Marshall questioned Shoemaker about his intentions when he had the gun pointed at Shaffer’s head.

“You didn’t really want to kill him, did you?” Marshall asked.

Shoemaker agreed.

“If he wanted to shoot you that evening, what prevented him from doing that?” Marshall asked.

Shoemaker testified he didn’t know.

District Attorney Bernie Cantorna also called Kline, 42, to testify. She did so as a hostile witness because she is Shaffer’s girlfriend.

Marshall asked her one question on his cross-examination.

“Do you think Mr. Shaffer tried to kill you that night?” Marshall asked.

“No,” Kline testified.

Marshall then delivered his closing statement, saying that attempted homicide is an intent-based crime.

“You just heard from Ms. Kline that she did not feel that Mr. Shaffer was trying to kill her,” Marshall said. “He certainly had the means to do so, but he didn’t. Was his behavior reckless? Yes. Was his behavior criminal? That’s for your honor to decide.”

Cantorna responded by asking District Judge Thomas Jordan to bound Shaffer over on two counts of attempted homicide, even though he was charged with four.

“Before your closing statement, I already wrote down what I was going to do,” Jordan said.

He bound Shaffer over for trial on two counts of attempted homicide, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of carrying a firearm without a license and seven misdemeanors.

Jordan dismissed two counts of attempted homicide and two counts of aggravated assault.

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

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