Father charged with homicide in death of daughter in Perry County
PENN TOWNSHIP, Pa.– Pennsylvania State Police have charged a Perry County man with homicide in the death of his 12-year-old daughter.
Authorities upgraded charges lodged against 57-year-old Donald B. Meyer on Thursday. Meyers is now charged with criminal homicide, involuntary manslaughter, two counts of aggravated assault, simple assault, persons not to possess firearms under provisions of the Mental Health Procedures Act, terroristic threats, endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment. Meyer’s remains in Perry County Prison without bail.
The charges stem from an incident that occurred on January 11 at Meyer’s home in Penn Township.
Constable Clarke Steele, who has served in Perry and Dauphin counties for the past six years, was enforcing an eviction order at the home of 57-year-old Donald Meyer and his family.
Police say after a verbal dispute, Meyer pointed a loaded rifle at Steele.
Steele shot Meyer in the arm, but the bullet went through and struck Ciara, Meyer’s 12-year-old daughter, who was standing directly behind him, police said.
Ciara was pronounced dead at the scene. She died as a result of a single gun shot wound, according to Perry County Coroner Michael Shalonis.
The state police confirm there was an ongoing eviction process and that Meyer knew the constable was on his way to execute the order to vacate the home.
Perry County District Attorney Andrew Bender, said upon investigation it was found that Constable Steele discharged his weapon lawfully in self-defense.
Steel has been cleared of any wrong doing in this incident and will not face charges in relation to the shooting.
Bender said Meyer was not allowed to own a firearm because of a previous involuntary mental health commitment. He said Meyer falsified records in order to buy guns.
According to a search warrant, police removed five guns from the home.