Victim, suspect identified in York Springs homicide

YORK SPRINGS -- State Police say they are investigating a homicide on the 200 block of Middle Street in York Springs.

The victim was identified Thursday afternoon as James E. Stephens, 65, State Police said in a press release.

Deborah Stephens

His wife, Deborah, 63, was taken into custody, police say. She is charged with one count of criminal homicide and is currently in Adams County Prison, according to police.

According to the criminal complaint, police were alerted by the Stephens' son, who had been unsuccessfully trying to contact his parents since the previous day.

When the son went to his parents' home to investigate, police say, Deborah Stephens answered the door and told him "I hit your father with a baseball bat and he's dead."

The son told police his mother said she hit the victim with the bat at about 6 p.m. Wednesday, according to the criminal complaint.

The son immediately contacted 911.

Upon arrival, police found James Stephens dead inside the home. Deborah Stephens allegedly admitted that she had struck the victim with a baseball bat and killed him, the criminal complaint states.

James Stephens' body showed bruising consistent with being struck by a baseball bat, police say, and a baseball bat was recovered from the scene.

According to investigators, there have been previous domestic violence incidents at the home. In one the incidents, Deborah Stephens allegedly struck James Stephens with a TV remote.

The Hanover Evening Sun initially reported the news.