Man extradited to York County in West Manchester Township stabbing death

Harper Ho
York Dispatch
Brian Karl Peters Jr.

A West Manchester Township man who fled to Florida after allegedly stabbing a landlord to death is facing trial.

Brian Karl Peters Jr., 34, was extradited back to York County from the Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover, Virginia, and is in prison without bail, according to court records.

He stands accused of murder in the death of Robert Runkle, 65, who was found dead in March from apparent stab wounds inside his West Manchester Township home, police said.

More:Police identify man killed in West Manchester Twp. stabbing; suspect held in Va.

Peters and Runkle lived together, police said. It's unclear what their relationship was.

West Manchester Township Police responded about 7:17 a.m. March 30 to Runkle's residence in the first block of North Gotwalt Street initially for a report of a cardiac arrest, according to charging documents.

Police instead found Runkle's body, with stab wounds, beside a bed in an upstairs bedroom, the records say.

Earlier that morning, about 5:15 a.m., a witness who also lived in the house "woke up to the sound of screaming" and went to Runkle's bedroom to check, police said.

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"The room was dark and when he turned the bedroom light on he observed Brian Peters standing over Runkle with a pillow covering his head," the criminal complaint reads. 

There was blood everywhere, and Peters was holding a Rambo-style knife in his hand, police said. He reportedly told the witness that "this had been on my mind all night."

The witness asked Peters not to hurt him, and Peters told him "he did not deserve to die" and to give Peters a day’s head start, the documents say.

The witnessed watched Peters load items into Runkle's Kia Soul Hatchback and leave, police said. Peters allegedly told the witness he was headed to Florida.

Peters' next court appearance is Oct. 10.

Editor's note: This story has been changed to correct the municipality where Runkle and Peters lived.