An 84-year-old Pennsylvania man is accused of beating his wife to death after an argument over money for their cat’s veterinary care.
Barton Seltmann was arrested Tuesday after police found his wife, Margaret Seltmann, 85, dead at the couple’s home in Lower Pottsgrove Township, said Montgomery County Prosecutor Kevin R. Steele and Chief of Lower Pottsgrove Township Police Richard Bell in a joint statement.
The couple was arguing “about money for their cat’s veterinary care when the fight turned physical,” the statement said. “Evidence found at the scene indicates that the victim was struck several times in the head while lying on the kitchen floor. »
Barton Seltmann himself called 911 to report an “unresponsive woman,” authorities said. When officers arrived, they found the man on a back porch with “blood on his hands, face and clothing,” according to authorities.
NBC Philadelphia reported that Barton Seltmann initially told 911 operators that he thought his wife was dead and that someone “beat her.” He later said he beat his wife to death after she grabbed a knife and threatened to kill him, the network reported.
Seltmann said he grabbed a chair and pushed its feet toward his wife, according to a probable cause affidavit. He told investigators that his wife then fell and hit her head on the ground, NBC Philadelphia reported.
Seltmann said he did not see a knife in his wife’s hand, but still hit her several times, then used a candlestick to hit her in the head, the station reported . Seltmann said his wife said, “You’re killing me,” according to NBC Philadelphia.
Investigators found a small kitchen knife under Margaret Seltmann’s body, according to the station.
A medical examiner with the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office determined the woman’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and the circumstances of her death were ruled a homicide, the prosecutor’s office said.
Seltmann was arraigned on charges of first- and third-degree murder, according to online court records. He is scheduled to hold a preliminary hearing on December 5. Court records do not list an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
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