Juvenile charged with attempted homicide

Staff Writer

PUNXSUTAWNEY — A 15-year-old male from Sprankle Mills has been charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and other related charges as the result of a domestic dispute that occurred at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Oliver Township, Punxsutawney-based Pennsylvania State Police said in a report on Thursday.

The investigation stems from an incident during which the juvenile told police that he "heard voices in his head that instructed him to kill" a 48-year-old woman.

The affidavit of probable cause states that, at 1:45 p.m., members of PSP-Punxsutawney were dispatched to a home on Sprankle Mills Road for a domestic altercation. Upon their arrival, police said that they made contact with the victim, who had apparent injuries to her head and a stab wound to her right shoulder, near the neck.

They then made contact with the suspect, who they said, "was making statements in their presence that he was hearing voices in his head that were telling him to kill the victim," and that he thought he had killed her by stabbing her.

When the victim was interviewed, police said that the defendant had approached her with a steak knife and then held it to her throat as she tried to get away, at which time he started to strike her in the head and face. At that point, she said, he stabbed her in the shoulder before she got away and contacted emergency services for help.

A member of Jefferson County EMS, told police in an interview that he received a phone call at 1:42 p.m. that the victim had been stabbed and needed help. Upon responding to the scene, he observed the injuries to the head and the stab wound. Medical attention was provided, and she was transported to Punxsutawney Area Hospital before a transfer to Allegheny General Hospital. A police report issued Thursday said the victim is in stable condition.

In discussions on the scene, multiple state troopers confirmed that they had heard the defendant make statements that he'd heard voices instructing him to kill the victim and that he thought he did so. Thursday's police report stated that the actor was being treated at Children's Hospital, pending a mental health evaluation.

A member of the PSP Forensic Services Unit observed at the scene an excessive amount of blood throughout the residence. He seized two knives with suspected blood on them, and the items were secured and entered into evidence at PSP-Punxsutawney.

Based on the evidence, police filed charges, one count each, of attempted murder of the first degree (a first-degree felony), aggravated assault (felony-one), aggravated assault (felony-two), and two second-degree misdemeanor counts of simple assault.