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Muncy Valley man threatens couple with shotgun

By Staff | Jan 2, 2013

HUGHESVILLE – A Muncy Valley man faces attempted homicide charges after he walked into a Penn Township house Thursday night and fired a shotgun while two people were inside, state police said.

William Hellenthal, 60, allegedly walked into the unlocked rear door of a house on Beaver Run Road where his estranged wife, Jean Hellenthal, 59, and David Barto, 52, both of Muncy Valley, were watching television about 8 p.m., according to Trooper Angela Bieber.

Hellenthal allegedly pointed a 16-gauge shotgun in Barto’s direction and said, “I’m going to kill you,” Bieber wrote in an affidavit. Barto leapt from the chair he was sitting in and ran into another room, closing a door behind him, the affidavit states.

Barto said he heard a shot fired and noise of a struggle, according to Bieber.

Hellenthal tried to push his way into the room where Barto was but, when he couldn’t, he allegedly fired the gun. Hellenthal poked the gun barrel through the partially open door and Barto grabbed it, according to the affidavit. Barto then restrained Hellenthal on the floor until police arrived.

Jean Hellenthal was taken to Muncy Valley Hospital for treatment of a severely bruised left eye, broken nose and broken rib, police said. Hellenthal was taken to Williamsport Regional Medical Center for unspecified injuries.

The gun, two spent casings, a sledge hammer and rope were recovered at the house, police said. The items had not been at the house prior to William Hellenthal arriving.

Hellenthal, who was served a protection from abuse order in November, told police he failed to turn over one of his guns as required.

He said he didn’t want to kill anyone but was upset and depressed, police said.

Hellenthal was charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault, making a terroristic threats with intention to terrorize another and two counts of simple assault.

Arraigned before District Judge Jon E. Kemp, Hellenthal was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $1 million bail.