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Fourth suspect in Lansford stabbing incident pleads guilty Also admits to taking part in robbery of a convenience store

Published January 17. 2014 05:00PM

The fourth suspect in a Lansford stabbing incident entered a guilty plea to his part in the incident on Thursday in Carbon County court.

Raymond Ziegenfuss III, 19, Lansford, also admitted his role in a robbery in the borough.

Ziegenfuss pleaded to a count of criminal conspiracy-aggravated assault for his part in the Oct. 21, 2011, incident in which he participated in the attack of Christopher Herman, that occurred at 115 E. Snyder Ave.

Ziegenfuss was charged along with Steven Allan Walck, 28, Jennifer Steigerwalt, 36, and Kevin Marshall Brandwein, 24, all of Lansford.

The four were accused of beating Herman, tying him up, and then stabbing him in the back several times, attempting to kill him.

Police said Walck was the one who stabbed Herman, who 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, located next store. 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.

Ziegenfuss was with Brandwein and Walck when they entered the home and confronted Herman in an upstairs bedroom.

Walck and Steigerwalt were sentenced earlier this week for their part in the incident and Brandwein was sentenced late last year. All three received long state prison terms.


Ziegenfuss also admitted his part in the robbery at the Turkey Hill Market, 22-32 W. Patterson St., that occurred on Aug. 28, 2013. He was one of five charged in connection with that incident.

Also charged were Scott Heffelfinger, 26, of Tamaqua; John A. Simonson, 19, and Nicole Christman, 19, both of Lansford; and Alyssa Gryzik, 18.

Police said Heffelfinger and Simonson entered the store and confronted the clerk. Taken was a bag of money and cigarettes.

Police said Christman, Gryzik and Ziegenfuss helped plan the robbery but were not present. They were waiting for Heffelfinger and Simonson after the pair robbed the store. They were at 220 W. Front St. That was where the money was divided up by the five.

The others involved in the incident have entered guilty pleas and have been either been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing.

Judge Steven R. Serfass accepted the pleas but deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation (PSI) report.

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