2011-09-01 / Front Page

Keefer Pleads Guilty To Firearms Violations

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz
STAFF WRITER

A Warfordsburg area woman stood before Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Shawn Meyers Tuesday and entered a plea to a firearms violation connected to a homicidesuicide that occurred earlier in the year.

Forty-six-year-old Carol Sue Keefer stood beside defense attorney Eric Weisbrod for formal arraignment on 14 counts of a person to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms; five counts of unsworn falsification to authorities; and one count of the sale or transfer of firearms. Waiving arraignment proceedings, Keefer, of 2663 Mountain Road, opted to enter a plea of guilty to the first two counts of a person not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer a firearm.

Maximum penalty for the two counts, according to Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall, is a total of 10 years incarceration and $20,000 in fines.

In explaining to the court her actions that supported a guilty plea, Keefer went through a brief question-and-answer period with her legal counsel. In her responses to the court, Keefer admitted to signing an “affidavit of safekeeping” after a protectionfrom abuse (PFA) order was issued against her brother, Ricky Hann, in September 2010.

Until the provisions of the PFA were lifted or the order expired, Hann was not permitted to possess a weapon and therefore the guns would remain in his sister’s possession. A total of seven guns were listed on the document.

In court Tuesday, Keefer said she went to Hann’s house, got the guns and took them to her Belfast Township home for “safekeeping.” The guns were kept in an unlocked bedroom, and she did not always keep her home locked, Keefer stated. She added she was aware her brother was prohibited from having access to the weapons.

In adding to Keefer’s statements, the district attorney noted that certain guns, specifically two shotguns, to be kept in Keefer’s safekeeping, were later found in her brother’s possession.

Both of those guns were subsequently located during the investigation of a homicide-suicide by McConnellsburg State Police. Keefer’s brother was released on bail from the Franklin County Prison on February 20 after having been arrested for holding his ex-girlfriend, Tina Souders, against her will with a sawed-off shotgun.

The following morning, an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case said, Hann and Keefer went through the guns in her possession so they could price them for sale in hopes he could pay back the bail money. A piece of tape was placed on each gun with a respective price.

“When asked if Hann took any of the guns when he left (between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.), Keefer said that he didn’t,” investigating officer Garry Ford stated in the affidavit. When asked why Hann was driving her truck that morning, she related that he told her that “he wanted to take it so that no one would recognize him.”

After Hann’s departure from Keefer’s home, the duo reportedly spoke over the phone.

“When I asked her why she called and left him (Hann) a message stating don’t do anything crazy, Keefer did not respond. Keefer said that Hann called her just before noon and told her that she could come and pick her truck up at residence at the intersection of Cito Road and Tritle Drive,” Trooper Ford stated.

By noon Hann had arrived at Tina Souders’ Cito Road, Mc- Connellsburg, home. While family members stood by, he took her into a nearby wooded area at gunpoint. Souders was fatally wounded with a Winchester 12- gauge shotgun, while a Bay State 12-gauge shotgun was also carried to the scene by Hann. Both guns were listed on the affidavit of safekeeping.

Even though the remaining charges against Keefer will be dismissed, she will be required to pay back any restitution that may be owed in the case. Her sentencing has been scheduled for 11:45 a.m. on October 11 in the Fulton County Courthouse before Judge Meyers.

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