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Attorney wants evidence tossed in stolen gun case


August 31. 2013 12:19AM

By - elewis@civitasmedia.com




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WILKES-BARRE — A lawyer for an Exeter Township man accused of trading a stolen firearm used in a murder-suicide more than two years ago is seeking to have evidence dismissed against his client.


Shawn Burgess, 38, and Jessica Rinehimer, 27, last known address as South Main Street, Ashley, were charged in March 2012 with stealing a .22-caliber revolver from a Mountain Top residence and giving the weapon to Herbert Robinson Jr., 21, in exchange for six heroin packets, according to court records.


Hanover Township police said they learned the firearm was stolen when James Cooper, 39, of Scranton, shot and killed Shana Bagley, 25, and shot Bagley’s husband, Brad Bagley, 27, and Thomas Harris in Hanover Village on May 20, 2011. Cooper then took his own life with the firearm.


Investigators believe Cooper drove to the apartment complex with the intent to shoot his ex-girlfriend, Shaundra Langille, who the day before had been given temporary custody of their infant daughter. Langille hid in a closet, protecting her daughter and Shana Bagley’s child.


Rinehimer pleaded guilty to theft, receiving stolen property and illegal firearm ownership. She is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 11. Robinson, 22, of Philadelphia, was sentenced in June to 27 months’ to 54 months’ in state prison.


Burgess’ attorney, Mark Bufalino, claims police obtained statements from Burgess in violation of his rights. Bufalino said in court papers that Burgess was not read his Miranda rights and believed his freedom was restricted when he was questioned by police.


In response, Assistant District Attorney Mary Hanlon Mirabito said “any and all statements that may have been taken from (Burgess) were taken either when (Burgess) was not in custody or after he had been issued his Miranda warnings,” court records state.


A judge has not ruled on the suppression of evidence. A jury trial is scheduled for late September.




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