UPDATE: Moats Tells Police “I Got the Gun Because I Was Tired of Getting Beat”

imageservlet-1CLOVER TWP., Pa. (EYT) – A Summerville woman is awaiting a preliminary hearing on attempted homicide and related charges stemming from a domestic incident that occurred on Toadtown Road, in Clover Township, Jefferson County.

Court documents indicate Punxsutawney-based State Police filed criminal charges against 28-year-old Kimberly Opal Moats, of Summerville.

According to a criminal complaint, around 9:19 p.m. on March 9, State Police were dispatched to 836 Toadtown Road for a report of a domestic situation which resulted in a shooting. It was reported that Kimberly Opal Moats fired a shot from a 30-30 caliber rifle at a known man while in their residence then fled the scene on foot.

The complaint indicates that Moats returned to the residence and was taken into custody by members of PSP Clarion and Punxsutawney.

Around 9:50 p.m. on March 9, the male victim was interviewed on the scene. He explained that “he and Moats had been drinking and got into an argument regarding the care of her daughter. The argument escalated in intensity to the point in which he and Moats were pushing and grabbing each other. He was in the kitchen when Moats went into the living room and retrieved a 30-30 caliber rifle from behind the door. Moats leveled the rifle at her hip, made a statement to the effect that she was going to kill him, pointed it in his direction, and pulled the trigger. The bullet struck the kitchen door approximately one to two feet from his head. Moats loaded another round into the chamber as he was yelling at her, asking why would she want to shoot him,” the complaint indicates.

The victim stated that he “pulled Moats backed into the living room and pushed her down onto the couch. The victim said he struck Moats in the head with his fist and pulled her back into the kitchen away from the gun, then she fled out the door, the complaint continues.

During the interview, Trooper Powell, of PSP Punxsutawney, asked the victim if Moats had ever shot or loaded this particular gun in the past, and he said that she knew how to shoot this gun as she used it to hunt deer this past season. The victim also confirmed that Moats had fired the gun in the past and that she knew the gun was loaded, the complaint states.

Trooper Powell examined the scene and noted a bullet hole in the door leading from the kitchen to the back porch. Trooper Powell also discovered an empty shell casing under the edge of the kitchen stove and a 30-30 caliber Winchester rifle on the coffee table in the living room along with three live rounds, the complaint indicates.

Trooper Patrick Berggren, of PSP Clarion, stated that he had rendered the rifle safe by removing three live rounds, one of which was in the chamber, the hammer was in the cocked position, and the firearm is not equipped with a safety, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, around 10:12 p.m. on March 12, Trooper Paige Pifer read Moats her Miranda Warnings at the scene. Moats told Trooper Pifer that she and the victim got into a verbal argument around 6:30 p.m. regarding her daughter. The argument escalated into physical contact which included pushing on both parties. The victim “struck her with both hands and drug her into the living room.” She said she was also kicked. She “retrieved the gun from behind the door in the living room and pointed it at the door to scare the victim….Her finger was on the trigger, and she was shocked the gun went off.” She estimated the victim was approximately six feet from the door where she point the gun. She “pulled the hammer up to see if there was another round in it (the gun).”

“Moats also informed Trooper Pifer that she got the gun because she was tired on getting beat,” the complaint continues.

Moats was arraigned at 12:05 p.m. on March 10 on the following charges:

  • Criminal Attempt – Criminal Homicide, Felony 1
  • Aggravated Assault, Felony 1
  • Aggravated Assault, Felony 2
  • Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2
  • Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2

Unable to post $250,000.00 monetary bail, she was lodged in the Jefferson County Jail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on May 10 in front of District Magisterial Judge Gregory M. Bazylak.

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