Suspect in 100-bullet homicide gets more time to review evidence

York County felon facing 15 years to life for firing gun

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A former York County man and convicted felon accused of firing a gun during a fight in Newberry Township last month has now been indicted in federal court.

John E. Fishel Jr., known as Jake, was indicted Wednesday, March 14, in federal court on one charge of being a convicted felon in illegal firearm possession, according to federal court records.

John E. "Jake" Fishel Jr.

Fishel, 44, of the 600 block of Good Hope Road in Hampden Township, Cumberland County, previously lived in northern York County, according to court records.

He originally was arrested by Newberry Township Police the night of Feb. 5, shortly after the alleged gunfire at a mobile-home park in the 3000 bock of Old Trail Road, according to charging documents.

Fishel remains in York County Prison on $15,000 bail, charged with being a felon in illegal firearm possession, carrying a loaded weapon, reckless endangerment, simple assault, carrying a firearm without a license, disorderly conduct, possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

15 years to life: If convicted in federal court, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and possibly a sentence of life in prison, according to Dawn Mayko, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Harrisburg.

That's a much longer sentence than he's facing on the York County charges.

Typically, York County criminal defendants have their county cases dropped if they are convicted or plead guilty in federal court.

According to charging documents filed by Newberry Township Police, officers were called to the mobile-home park shortly after 11 p.m. Feb. 3 after a resident saw Fishel fire a bullet into the ground in front of a man with whom he was physically fighting.

Police said Fishel revved the engine of his pickup truck several times in the driveway of Michael Rittle and that he and Rittle fought.

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Fired into ground: Fishel pulled out a .25-caliber handgun and fired it into the ground "in the direction" of Rittle, who was standing in the driveway, then drove away in his pickup, documents allege.

A person who witnessed the gunfire called 911 after seeing Fishel return to the mobile home, according to police.

When officers arrived, they heard people yelling inside the mobile home, then saw Fishel and Rittle walk out of the home and toward Fishel's truck, documents state.

Police said Fishel gave them permission to search his truck, where officers found the handgun, some pot and a smoking pipe, according to charging documents.

Fishel has been convicted of crimes in York, Cumberland and Dauphin counties, including for the felonies of aggravated assault and burglary, according to court records.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.