2011-07-21 / Front Page

Hearing Waived In Gun Charges

Keefer charged in connection with firearms used in homicide-suicide
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz
STAFF WRITER

Four months after her arrest, a Warfordsburg woman appeared in Fulton County Central Court this week to face allegations she violated firearms regulations that if adhered to could have prevented a suicide-homicide.

Carol Sue Keefer, 46, waived her right to a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Devin Horne on Monday in connection with her arrest March 15. Charges filed at the time against Keefer, of 2663 Mountain Road, are one count of sale or transfer of firearms; 14 counts of persons not to possess / use / manufacture / control / sell / transfer firearms; and five counts of unsworn falsification to authorities.

As a result of waiving her rights and entering a notguilty plea, Keefer will next be scheduled to appear before a judge of the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas for mandatory arraignment. She is represented in court proceedings by defense attorney Eric Weisbrod.

In charging documents filed in the case, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Garry Ford of the McConnellsburg barracks stated he and Cpl. William Baker interviewed a Hustontown area man responsible for posting $4,000 bail on February 19 for the release of Ricky Hann. Only hours before Hann had held his ex- girlfriend Tina Souders against her will with a sawed-off shotgun. The man, his girlfriend and Keefer reportedly travelled to the Franklin County Prison and were on hand for Hann’s release at 11 p.m.

Keefer confirmed in interviews with police investigators she stayed at her brother’s home in McConnellsburg until approximately 9 a.m. on February 20. The duo then went to Keefer’s residence, where Hann asked to take inventory of his guns being kept in her possession. She had had the weapons since September 20 due to an active protection from-abuse order, the affidavit said.

Together, Keefer and Hann wrote the values of each gun on a piece of tape and placed it on the respective weapons, which were reportedly to be sold to help pay their friend back for the bail.

Keefer initially told police that when her brother left her Belfast Township home between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. she didn’t think he took any of his guns, according to the affidavit. However, by noon that day, Hann had forced Souders at gunpoint into the woods behind her Cito Road, McConnellsburg, home where she was fatally shot with a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun. Hann also carried a Bay State 12- gauge shotgun over his shoulder in the shooting, police noted.

In reviewing an affidavit of safekeeping permit for relinquished firearms recorded through the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, state police learned Keefer was to have in her possession seven firearms belonging to Hann. According to the affidavit, Keefer told police she took the guns from Hann’s house, but never compared or verified what she had in her possession with what was listed on the safekeeping permit

Having obtained a search warrant, police later found a total of 14 firearms at the Keefer residence. Five of Hann’s guns kept at the residence were not listed on the permit. In addition, the Winchester 12-gauge shotgun used in the shooting was listed on the permit but never found at the residence. At the time it was already being stored in a state police evidence locker.

Trooper Ford stated in the affidavit that Keefer said she didn’t know when her brother took the firearms used in the murder. She stated, “I don’t know when they got gone. I really don’t know.”

Police concluded from their interviews with Keefer that Hann possessed a house key and the ability to access his sister’s home at anytime. Furthermore, the guns were not locked in a secure location and had been placed on a bed in an upstairs bedroom.

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