Pa. man pleads guilty in death of his neighbor

November 15, 1996



Staff Writer, Waynesboro

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Four days before his criminal homicide trial was due to begin, Norman Charles Round pleaded guilty Thursday to voluntary manslaughter in the bludgeoning death of his neighbor during a deer-hunting dispute last year, according to court records.

The Newburg, Pa., man faces 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 pending a pre-sentence investigation, according to court records.

Round, 38, of 14336 West Creek Road, Lurgan Township, Pa., had been charged with criminal homicide in the Nov. 30, 1995, death of George P. Roman, 49, of 5627 McClays Mill Road.


Sentencing was set for Jan. 29, 1997, before Franklin County President Judge John Walker.

Franklin County District Attorney John F. Nelson said he consulted with the victim's family members about the plea agreement and that they accepted it.

"To say they were happy about it is probably not correct," Nelson said.

"The closer you get to trial the more carefully both sides review their position," he said. "Realistically speaking, we viewed the case as a third-degree or a manslaughter case with the recognition, obviously, that there could be an acquittal."

Round used Roman's rifle to beat him while the two men were tracking a buck that had run onto Round's property after being shot by Roman, court records said.

While looking for the buck, they spotted a herd of doe and Roman pointed his rifle at one, court records said. It was not doe season at the time.

The two struggled over the rifle, which Round was able to wrest away, court records said.

Round told Pennsylvania State Police troopers that he thought Roman was going to shoot him, police testified during a preliminary hearing in December.

When Round told Roman not to shoot the doe, Roman called him a name, lowered the gun and turned toward Round, police testified. Round said he took the rifle away from Roman and hit him five or six times, police testified.

When Round was arrested later that day, he had a wound above his right eye and dried blood on the right side of his face, police said.

Nelson had argued that the beating was too severe to be self-defense.

An autopsy showed Roman died of multiple head injuries, suffocation, or both, police said. He had sustained three facial wounds and eight wounds to the head area, police said. One of the wounds penetrated the skull.

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