INDIANA, Pa. (KDKA) — Shaun Fairman is now headed to trial for the murder of his estranged wife’s father.
A magistrate on Friday determined that there was enough evidence to move forward with the case.
State police testified that when Fairman showed up at his estranged wife’s home on Route 210 near Plumville back in June, he was armed with a rifle and a handgun.
Fairman later admitted to police he was angry that divorce papers had arrived in the mail.
“He was there for ill purposes – we’ll put it that way,” Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said. “Obviously, I can’t get into his brain and decide what he was really there for.”
Richard Shotts, 55, had been staying with his daughter who had a protection from abuse order against her estranged husband.
When Fairman first showed up at the house, he argued with Shotts before shooting him in the neck at point blank range.
He then punched in a window and went through the house looking for others.
His kids were hiding in the attic with their grandmother. His wife was in an upstairs bedroom where she shot him twice in the shoulder – disarming him until police arrived.
Dougherty has not yet decided if he will seek the death penalty.
“As with all of these cases, we don’t have to make that decision until the time of formal arraignment,” he said. “We’re evaluating all the evidence to see if this is appropriate in that case and we’ll make that decision down the road.”
The preliminary hearing had to be moved to the courthouse at the last minute because not everyone fit into the magistrate’s office. More than 20 family members and friends showed up in support of the victim.
Fairman was taken back to jail where he will continue to be held without bond as he awaits trial.