Two heading to trial in target-shooting death of N. Hopewell woman
On June 24, 2017, the power had gone out in North Hopewell Township, causing Charles Folcomer Jr. and his wife, Nancy Folcomer, to drive around to see if a utility line was down.
On that same day, Jeremy Michael Robbins, 22, called Todd Frederick Kraft, 43, and asked him to come over to his home so they could target shoot Robbins' pistol, according to officials.
It was that day that one of their bullets from the target shooting fatally struck Nancy Folcomer as she sat in her husband's car, state police allege. Nancy Folcomer, 55, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Chief deputy prosecutor Tim Barker said during the duo's preliminary hearing Wednesday, May 30, that Robbins and Kraft were firing at targets near a hot tub that day, and there was nothing behind their targets to cover their shots.
"That is a quintessential definition of reckless behavior," he said. Barker said they did not have "one iota" of safety precautions during their target shooting.
District Judge Laura Manifold agreed there was enough evidence for the men to proceed to trial, and the case was sent to the Court of Common Pleas.
Robbins and Kraft: Robbins, of the 2700 block of Schell Lane in North Hopewell Township, and Kraft, of the 1300 block of East Market Street in York City, are charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and conspiracy to commit both offenses. They remain free on $10,000 unsecured bail.
State police Cpl. Krystal Dugan, who filed the charges, stated during testimony that when the electricity went out, Robbins asked his friend Kraft to come over to shoot at targets and drink beer.
The target, according to police, was an old hot tub that had been dropped off as fuel for a bonfire planned later that evening.
At that same time, Charles Folcomer and his wife were driving in the 2500 block of Myers School Road, which runs parallel to Robbins' property, when Nancy Folcomer was struck by a bullet, according to Dugan.
Charles Folcomer then drove her to a nearby farm property so he could get cell reception to call emergency personnel. Not long after, one of Robbins' neighbors came to Robbins' home to tell them someone had been shot, according to testimony.
Both Robbins and Kraft then went to the scene and saw Nancy Folcomer dead in the vehicle, Robbins said in a video interview with Dugan.
Investigation: Robbins offered to take troopers to the property where they were shooting, according to police. Dugan said a trooper drove by the shooting location with Robbins while they drove to the property.
The corporal said there were ricochet marks on the roadway where Folcomer was shot. Police said in charging documents that each man fired between 24 and 35 rounds.
Dugan testified that the two were firing downhill, and from where they were shooting they could not see the roadway through the treeline at Robbins' property.
When Robbins took officials to the property, he told them he and Kraft were targeting the hot tub, which had been dropped off by neighbors earlier, according to a video recording of his interview with authorities.
The corporal testified that the two were given Breathalyzer tests, which showed that the drinks they had had would not have impaired their ability to shoot the firearms. She also said they were cooperative during the investigation.
Dugan said testing revealed that a bullet fired from Robbins' handgun killed Folcomer. She also testified that officials do not know who fired the fatal shot.
Asked for charges dropped: Korey Leslie, Robbins' attorney, and Chris Ferro, Kraft's attorney, asked Manifold to drop the charges.
Ferro said what happened to Nancy Folcomer was a tragedy and has affected lives.
"But what I will say is not every tragedy is a crime, and I think this is a perfect example of that," he said.
Ferro said Kraft was a guest at Robbins' home, and Kraft expected that Robbins' target-shooting setup was safe.
Ferro also said there was no conspiracy for the two to be reckless.
Leslie said his client, Robbins, and Kraft didn't set out to kill someone but were just "firing at a hot tub" and missed.
But Manifold agreed that the prosecution had enough evidence to proceed to trial. The two are going to be formally arraigned on the charges on July 6.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.