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Two involved in stabbing plead guilty

Published November 20. 2013 05:00PM

Two defendants in an attempted homicide incident that occurred in Lansford in 2011, entered guilty pleas in Carbon County Court on Tuesday and are facing long state prison terms.

Steven Allen Walck, 28, and Jennifer Steigerwalt, 36, both of Lansford, entered pleas before Judge Steven R. Serfass.

Walck pleaded to attempted homicide while Steigerwalt admitted to criminal conspiracy-aggravated assault. Both charges are felonies.

The two admitted to their part in an incident that occurred on Oct. 21, 2011, at 115 E. Snyder Ave., in Lansford. Kevin Marshal Brandwein, 24, and Raymond Ziegenfuss, 18, both of Lansford, were also charged in the incident. All four were accused of beating a Lansford resident, tying him up, and then stabbing him in the back several times, attempting to kill him.

Walck, police said, was the one who inflicted the stab wounds to the victim Christopher M. Herman, 27, of the Lansford address. Herman was hospitalized at the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township, after the incident but has since recovered.

Steigerwalt was living with Herman at the time and was involved in a romantic relationship with him and also was romantically involved with Brandwein, police said.

After being tied up, beaten, and then stabbed, Herman managed to break free and flee the residence. He went to the Lansford police station but could not find anyone and then went to the American Legion. Individuals in the Legion called for medical assistance and police.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by state police at Lehighton, who took charge of the investigation, Steigerwalt and the others met at Walck's home and planned the attack on Herman.

They then went to the Herman home and found him asleep in an upstairs bedroom. They attacked him in the bedroom.

Brandwein carried Herman to the basement area of the home where he was tied up and then assaulted.

In a plea bargain, other counts including aggravated assault, were dropped. The plea agreement calls for Walck to be sentenced to a state prison term of 12 to 24 years.

Yesterday he also pleaded guilty in another pending case. He entered a plea to one count of terroristic threats.

He sent a threatening letter to Joann Behrens, county prothonotary. Walck was upset over seeing his child in a custody matter and threatened Behrens and her office staff for allegedly interfering with the case.

Defense attorney Joseph Sebelin Jr. said Walck is suffering from some mental health issues but is fully aware of the consequences of his plea.

Steigerwalt had charges of attempted homicide and other assault counts dropped in a plea bargain. Her agreement calls for a state prison term of six to 12 years be imposed at the time of sentencing.

Serfass accepted the pleas but deferred sentencing ordering the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation report for each defendant. Sentencing will occur when the reports are completed.

Both defendants are lodged in the county prison since their arrest on the charges.

Brandwein pleaded guilty to his part in the incident on Aug. 2 and was sentenced by Serfass to serve 10-and-a-half to 21 years in a state prison.

The case against Ziegenfuss is still pending.

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