Man threatened girlfriend with rifle, punched 14-year-old
HUGHESVILLE – Shortly after arriving home from a bar “heavily intoxicated” early Monday morning, July 13, 49-year-old James Edward Nottingham picked up a rifle and terrorized his girlfriend and three members of her family, state Trooper Blake Brown alleged in an affidavit.
“Let’s have some fun,” Nottingham said as he began firing off four rounds “outside the kitchen door towards the woods,” Brown said, adding that the gunfire erupted inside 297 Peavine Hollow Road, just off of Route 864, in Wolf Township about 2 a.m.
Nottingham then turned around and pointed the rifle at his girlfriend, Janett Joann Smith, and asked her three times, “Do you want to die,” Brown said in the affidavit.
The boyfriend then fired one round into the floor right in front of Smith, who was huddled into a corner of the kitchen, where Nottingham had shoved her, Brown said.
“Nottingham reloaded the rifle and shot two times at a wall near the girlfriend,” Brown said.
Also in the house with Smith was her 14-year-old daughter, and two cousins, ages 14 and 19.
“He threatened all the occupants by cornering them in the kitchen while yielding a weapon, which prevented them from fleeing the home,” Brown said of Nottingham, who fired yet another round into the floor, “directly in front of his girlfriend,” Brown said.
Nottingham then walked outside with the rifle in his hand, the trooper said.
Brown and Trooper Jason Cooley were dispatched to the house to investigate a report of 911 hang-up call.
When they arrived, Nottingham was walking down his driveway. When the troopers identified themselves, Nottingham told them, “Get out of here. You’re not welcome here,” Brown said.
Nottingham already had placed the rifle he allegedly used in the shooting on a picnic table on the front porch, Brown said.
When Cooley reached the house, he saw the occupants “lying on the kitchen floor. They all stated they were down on the floor in fear of their lives.”
Before gunfire erupted, Smith’s 14-year-old male cousin tried to intevene after Nottingham had shoved Smith to the kitchen floor, Brown said. “Nottingham allegedly punched the boy multiple times in the head,” the trooper added.
Upon being taken into custody, Nottingham was charged with aggravated and simple assault, terroristic threats, recklessly endangering, unlawful restraint, possession of an instrument of crime and harassment. He was arraigned Monday afternoon before District Judge James H. Sortman and committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail.