Court order in place before Pa. murder/suicide

January 02, 1997


Staff Writer

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Pamela K. Carbaugh, a gun pointed at her head, spent 90 minutes on June 15 talking her estranged husband out of shooting her and himself, Franklin County Court records show.

On New Year's Day, Leon F. Carbaugh Sr. followed through on his threat at his sister's Peters Township, Pa., home, police said.

While the two were exchanging custody of their 8-year-old daughter, Leon Carbaugh, 47, of 2271 Mountain Road, took a revolver from his coat and shot Pamela Carbaugh twice, said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Mike Gayman.


Carbaugh then took his own life.

The child did not see the shooting, police said.

Court records detail a history of violence in the couple's nearly 29-year marriage.

Leon Carbaugh was scheduled to go on trial for the June 15 threats against Pamela Carbaugh, 46, who lived at 5 S. Main St. in Mercersburg, court records show.

Pamela Carbaugh had gone to his house that day to pick up both of their daughters, who are now 8 and 14, records said.

Leon Carbaugh slammed his pickup truck into her Volkswagen, then pointed a loaded silver handgun at her head, records said.

"He said if I didn't want to be married to him he was going to kill me and then himself," Pamela Carbaugh wrote in her application for a protection-from-abuse order. "I spent the next hour and a half trying to talk him out of killing me. He didn't put the gun down for at least an hour."

Their older son arrived and helped to convince him to hand over the gun, records say.

"I was telling the defendant anything that I could to stay alive. I was finally allowed to leave after promising I would come home in a couple of days," she wrote.

Leon Carbaugh was charged with making terroristic threats, unlawful restraint and two counts of recklessly endangering, records show.

He was not supposed to have any contact with Pamela Carbaugh as a condition of his $50,000 bail and also according to the protection-from-abuse order.

In March, Carbaugh tried to stop Pamela Carbaugh from leaving work to go to a seminar, records show.

For the last five years, she worked at Jane's Market in Mercersburg, where she was the price scanning coordinator, said store Manager Paul Black.

"She was an exemplary employee," Black said.

David Carbaugh, who is not related but lives about a mile away from the Mountain Road home, said Pamela Carbaugh left her husband after the June incident.

"She was an awful nice person. Just a little woman, very attractive," he said.

Leon Carbaugh had worked the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift at JLG Industries in McConnellsburg, Pa., since August 1989, said company spokesman Loy Garber. Most recently, he worked in the cylinder build area.

As a condition of the protection-from-abuse order, the Franklin County Sheriff's Department was supposed to confiscate Leon Carbaugh's weapons - four to eight shotguns, one sawed-off shotgun, two machine guns and one small silver handgun, court records said.

Sheriff Robert B. Wollyung said Leon Carbaugh had arranged with an officer to give his guns to a third party, possibly a family member.

Also in the protection order, the couple agreed to share custody of their daughters, exchanging them at the home of his sister and brother-in-law, Gloria and Bruce Pine, of 12586 Orchard Circle, Peters Township.

Family members declined to comment on Thursday.

Pamela Carbaugh had custody of the girls on alternate weekends, from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday, and alternate weeks, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through 5 p.m. Thursday.

She was outside the Pine home on New Year's Day at 4:30 p.m. when Leon Carbaugh shot her once in the head and once in the chest, police said.

Pamela Carbaugh had filed for divorce on Nov. 12. They were married Jan. 22, 1968, in Clear Spring, court records show. Her lawyer, Janice Hawbaker of Chambersburg, declined to comment.

Leon Carbaugh's lawyer, David S. Keller of Waynesboro, Pa., could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

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