UPDATE: Jefferson County Murder Suspect Allegedly Took Crystal Meth Prior to Shooting Husband

crime-newsKNOX TOWNSHIP, Pa. (EYT) – Authorities in Punxsutawney say a Knox Township woman has been arrested for Criminal Homicide after allegedly shooting her husband late Sunday evening.

According to police, Trista Ellenor Zickefoose, 31, of Knoxdale, has been jailed and is facing Criminal Homicide charges following an incident that occurred on March 15.

Zickefoose Tells 911 She Thought Husband Was Intruder

According to a criminal complaint, the Jefferson County 911 Center received a call from a female identifying herself as Trista Zickefoose around 11:52 p.m.

The complaint states that Zickefoose, allegedly requested an ambulance to respond to her residence on Markton Road in Knox Township, Jefferson County. She allegedly told dispatchers that she had accidentally shot her husband thinking he was an intruder.

Police were subsequently dispatched to the scene.

Zickefoose said that she had first fired a warning shot into the ceiling as she descended the stairwell, and then she allegedly shot him in the chest when she rounded the corner and saw a figure at the bottom of the stairs in the darkness, continues the complaint.

Investigators Arrive at the Scene

The complaint indicates Trooper Seth Rupp of PSP Punxsutawney arrived at the scene around 1:20 a.m. on March 16 and observed the victim lying on his back, deceased, at the bottom of the stairs.

Throughout the course of the investigation, Trooper Rupp found an empty 9 MM casing lying on the steps approximately half way up the stairwell. He observed a hole in the ceiling directly above the casing and blood on the floor around the victim’s body, according to the complaint.

The victim was positively identified as Zickefoose’s husband Gregory Mark Zickefoose, 40, of Knoxdale, by the defendant and a JNET Photo.

According to the complaint, the victim was pronounced deceased at the scene on this date by Ralph August, Jefferson County Deputy Coroner.

Zickefoose Allegedly Admits to Taking Crystal Meth Prior to Shooting Her Husband

The criminal complaint indicates that during an interview with Zickefoose under Miranda at the State Police barracks in Punxsutawney, she stated that she had actually shot the victim during an alleged argument/altercation.

Zickefoose allegedly told police that she and the victim had been arguing, and he had been calling her a derogatory name all day. She allegedly said she suspected that the victim was having an affair and talking to other women online, according to the complaint.

Zickefoose allegedly told police she smoked a small amount of Crystal Meth at approximately 8:00 p.m. in order to stay awake to catch the victim in the act of talking to other women online, the complaint continues.

Zickefoose allegedly told police that she and the victim ended up in the bedroom as they were preparing to go to bed. She allegedly said she had previously shut off the power to the televisions in the residence, and they suddenly came back on, the complaint states.

The power box for the televisions was on the first floor so she allegedly told police she believed that someone had to be inside the house to turn the power back on, according to the complaint.

Zickefoose allegedly said she retrieved her 9 MM Ruger pistol from under her pillow on the bed because she was convinced that someone was on the first floor of her residence, the complaint indicates.

The victim then allegedly began to chase after Zickefose as she started down the stairs. The victim was allegedly calling her a “crazy b***” and telling her to give him the gun, according to the complaint.

Zickefoose allegedly told the victim to leave her alone and she fired a shot into the ceiling of the stairwell. She continued into the first floor kitchen and hid behind a dishwasher as the victim allegedly continued to pursue her, the complaint states.

She was allegedly able to escape from behind the dishwasher and then ran back towards the stairs. As she was running she allegedly could feel the victim behind her and she was afraid of what he would do if he caught her and took the gun. Zickefoose allegedly reached around her left side and fired a shot back at the victim. She immediately heard the victim yell and she turned to see him falling to the floor, according to the complaint.

Zickefoose then proceeded to unload the pistol, place it on the counter in the first floor kitchen, and call 911, the complaint continues.

According to court documents, Zickefoose was housed in the Jefferson County Jail on March 16.

Bail was denied.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled before District Judge Bazylak on March 26, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.


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