N. Hopewell target shooters plead guilty in mishap death of Nancy Folcomer
Two men have pleaded guilty for mistakenly, but recklessly, killing a North Hopewell Township woman riding in a car nearby as the men were shooting at targets without a backdrop.
Jeremy Michael Robbins, 23, of the 2700 block of Schell Lane in North Hopewell Township, and Todd Frederick Kraft, 44, of the 1300 block of East Market Street in York City, appeared in York County Court on Monday, July 15, for possible trial in their case.
Instead, they pleaded guilty to the misdemeanors of two counts each of reckless endangerment and one count each of conspiracy to commit that offense, according to Kyle King, spokesman for the York County District Attorney's Office.
In exchange for their plea, a misdemeanor charge of involuntary manslaughter was dismissed.
State police said one of the men fatally shot 55-year-old Nancy Folcomer of Stine Hill Road as she rode in a car driven by her husband shortly after 3:30 p.m. June 24, 2017.
Scheduling is set for 9 a.m. Nov. 25, according to Robbins' defense attorney, Korey Leslie, who declined additional comment Monday.
Chris Ferro, Kraft's defense attorney, said his client make a mistake that involved no ill will or bad intentions toward Folcomer.
"This is a terrible tragedy and there's no one who is more remorseful about what happened than my client," Ferro said. "It's my hope that Judge Ness will be able to fashion an appropriate sentence that takes into consideration my client's remorse, his acceptance of responsibility and his limited role in this tragedy."
The background: Folcomer and husband Charles Folcomer Jr. decided to ride around that afternoon after power was lost in the area, to see if a power line had been downed, police have said.
Meanwhile, Robbins invited over his friend, Kraft, to shoot at targets with Robbins' pistol, police have said. It was that reckless target shooting without backdrops that caused Nancy Folcomer's death, officials have said.
"That is a quintessential definition of reckless behavior," chief deputy prosecutor Tim Barker has said, noting the men did not take "one iota" of safety precautions during their target shooting.
State police Cpl. Krystal Dugan, who filed the charges, has said 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 for later that evening.
At that same time, Charles and Nancy Folcomer 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 drove 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 prior testimony at the men's joint preliminary hearing.
Dead at the scene: Both Robbins and Kraft then went to the farm property and saw Nancy Folcomer dead in the vehicle, Robbins said in a video interview with Dugan.
Robbins offered to take troopers to the property where they were shooting, according to police.
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 they hadn't consumed enough alcohol to impair 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.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.