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Long prison term for son who killed father

Published August 22. 2012 05:02PM

Schuylkill County President Judge William E. Baldwin imposed a long state prison term on a man who was convicted by a jury of fatally shooting his father at the family home in West Penn Township.

Franklin Stumhofer Jr., 41, Molino, was sentenced to serve a total of 15 1/2 to 30 1/2 years in a state correctional facility for killing his father, Franklin Stumhofer Sr., 61, of 6 Log Lane, West Penn Township; and for recklessly endangering three men in a truck who were shot at but not injured. He had been found guilty by a jury of 20 criminal charges.

On the charge of criminal homicide (murder in third degree), for the death of his father, he was sentenced to serve 15 to 30 years in a state correctional facility; three counts of aggravated assault on Larry Miller, brother-in-law; Samuel Stumhofer, a brother; and Blain Schmeck, an employee of Miller, each a 15 to 30 months sentence to run concurrent.

On a charge of recklessly endangering another person, his mother, Yong Stumhofer, he was sentenced to serve six to 12 months to run consecutive to the murder sentence. On one count of aggravated assault, four counts each of simple assault and recklessly endangering another person there was no further penalty imposed. Stumhofer was also ordered to submit to a DNA sample and pay the associated cost of $250; pay restitution of $4,419, and he is to receive credit for spending 346 days in the county prison.

Testimony presented at the trial was that the shooting occurred on Sept. 7, 2011, around 1:30 p.m. when the son came to his father's home seeking money.

Neighbors testified they saw the son arrive at the house in a car and walk to the front door and they saw the door partially open and heard conversations. The door was then shut and the son pulled out a gun and fired six shots through the door. An autopsy report showed four shots struck his father, two being fatal shots. The mother was in the home in the kitchen at the time of the shooting but was not hurt.

Further testimony was Stumhofer drove to Miller's home in Berks County but Miller wasn't there. As he was leaving, Miller arrived from a job as a contractor with Samuel Stumhofer and Blaine Schmeck, two workers, who were in the truck.

They saw the vehicle leaving his driveway and followed it into Hamburg and saw the car stopped under a bridge. Further testimony was that as the truck stopped alongside, the car window on the driver's side was opened and a gun pointed and shots fired. Three shots hit the truck but none of the occupants.

Later that day Stumhofer surrendered to state police at Hamburg.

At his trial he claimed he had overdosed in prescription pain killing pills because he had not fully recovered from a bad motorcycle accident which severely damaged a leg. He claimed he didn't remember the shooting as his mind blanked out.

Stumhofer is still in the county prison awaiting transfer to a state prison.

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