Eyewitness testifies about the murder of David Wintermyer in Springettsbury Township
YORK, Pa, Mar 12, 2013 (York Daily Record - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Margaret Ginter was in tears Monday as she testified about witnessing the shooting of her neighbor, David Wintermyer, on Sylvan Drive outside of her Springettsbury Township home.
She was adamant about defendant Spencer "Lee" Newcomer IV's claim that he shot Wintermyer because he thought Wintermyer was reaching into his pocket for a gun, according to court testimony.
"No, no, no," Ginter recalled saying. "I just saw it." Ginter was an eyewitness to the June 10, 2012 shooting. She was the first witness called to the stand Monday at the start of Newcomer's homicide trial.
Newcomer, 43, is charged with first- and third-degree murder in connection with killing his next door neighbor in the street during a confrontation over Newcomer's dogs.
She first recalled there was ill will between Newcomer and Wintermyer because of a dilapidated, termite-infested shed in Newcomer's back yard that some neighbors had complained to the township about, the weeds on Newcomer's property and that Newcomer's three dogs would defecate on his lawn.
She testified she heard an argument outside her bathroom window, looked out and saw Newcomer in his pickup and Wintermyer standing near the truck. She said Newcomer leveled the first obscenity and drove slowly away, giving Wintermyer the finger.
She said she walked outside to talk to Wintermyer who was walking after the truck.
She said Newcomer stopped, got out and pointed a gun at Wintermyer. She said Wintermyer faced Newcomer with his hands at his waist, palms up, and said: "Wait a minute, wait a minute." "He got out of the truck, gun in hand, and killed Dave," she said. "He just point blank shot the man." Newcomer's attorney, Chris Ferro, told the jury in his opening statement that Newcomer acted in self-defense in an "explosive, horrifying situation" with a "stronger, bigger, volatile man who hated him." Ferro said Wintermyer, 47, was an ex-Marine who Newcomer strongly suspected of vandalizing his car, poisoning his dogs, killing a pet wild rabbit and otherwise harassing him for months.
A sign in Wintermyer's yard read: Intruders will be shot, survivors will be shot again, Ferro said.
He said emails will show that Wintermyer was planning to confront Newcomer the morning he was killed.
Newcomer's plans for that day did not include a confrontation with Wintermyer, Ferro said. Newcomer left his house with a handgun he always carried and fliers for a car show he planned to attend in Maryland.
York County District Attorney Tom Kearney agreed the two neighbors did not like each other. But, he said, where Wintermyer vented his frustration against Newcomer, Newcomer kept his inside and on June 10, 2012, "Spencer Newcomer snapped." Kearney said Wintermyer did not like Newcomer's lifestyle, especially the way he took care of his property.
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