2012-03-08 / Local & State

Court Hears Shooting Case

Sarah Sipes arraigned on attempted murder charges
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Sarah Sipes Sarah Sipes A Hancock, Md., woman accused of shooting her boyfriend in the groin after he loaded the weapon and handed it to her in the midst of a heated argument has entered a not-guilty plea to charges of attempted murder.

Sarah Sipes appeared before Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Shawn Meyers on Tuesday, March 6, to answer to one count each of criminal attempt homicide, terroristic threats, recklessly endangering another person; and two counts each of aggravated assault and simple assault. Still being held in the Franklin County Prison in lieu of $250,000 straight bail, the young woman pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Sipes, 25, will reappear in court on April 10 for call of the criminal trial list. She is represented in ongoing court proceedings by Fulton County Public Defender Dwight Harvey. The charges against Sipes were made after Pennsylvania State Police at the McConnellsburg substation were alerted to a shooting at the John Garland residence on January 7. Both troopers and emergency responders arrived at the McConnellsburg area home located at 15834 Great Cove Road around 10:30 p.m.

Upon arriving, officials learned Garland’s son, Bradley Starliper, had performed first aid and used his belt as a tourniquet to help slow the bleeding. Garland, 40, would reportedly undergo emergency surgery later on after having suffered significant blood loss from the thigh wound.

Starliper as well as Starliper’s girlfriend witnessed the shooting and the argument between Garland and Sipes. An affidavit of probable cause filed by Trooper Michael Davis indicates the duo had been arguing earlier in the day about her being “drunk and pregnant.”

In speaking with Starliper, police learned the duo resumed their arguing shortly after 10 p.m. Garland, the affidavit said, came downstairs, grabbed several kitchen knives and yelled upstairs for Sipes to “kill” him. Later, Garland would offer to get the keys to his gun cabinet, police said.

“ ... The defendant (Sipes) opened the gun cabinet and pulled out a 12 gauge,” the affidavit maintained. “Starliper related the victim (Garland) loaded the gun and handed it to the defendant and said ‘kill me.’ Starliper related the defendant took the gun and told the victim, ‘I’m going to blow your guts out.’ He related the defendant had the gun pointed in the direction of the victim, and she lowered the gun and it went off.”

In a follow-up interview with Sipes, she allegedly confirmed to police she had “consumed a couple beers prior to the argument. She also related she had taken prescribed medications for leg pain and a migraine.”

Return to top