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Chambersburg murder-suicide confirmed

May 27, 1997

By LISA GRAYBEAL

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania State Police confirmed Tuesday the shooting deaths of a Chambersburg couple on Memorial Day as a murder-suicide.

Trooper Ed Asbury said police determined that Lawrence W. Cuff Jr., 52, a former part-time Chambersburg police officer, shot his live-in girlfriend, Janine R. Goodyear, 33, with a handgun and then shot himself at their home at 4453 Sycamore Grove Road in Greene Township sometime early Monday.

Franklin County Chief Deputy Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner said autopsy results determined that Goodyear died of multiple gunshot wounds about midnight.

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Cuff died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head about two or three hours later, Conner said.

The weapon was found inside the home, he said.

Police were called to the home at about 2 p.m., Asbury said.

Police have no motive and are still investigating, Asbury said. Police would not release any other details about the incident.

Neighbors said Cuff's teenage daughter, who lives with her mother in Fayetteville, Pa., discovered the bodies Monday afternoon and called police.

Cuff and his ex-wife, Barbara A. Spoonhour, 47, had been separated since September 1991 and were divorced on April 24 after 29 years of marriage, according to records in the Prothonotary's Office at Franklin County Courthouse.

Spoonhour filed a protection from abuse order against Cuff shortly after an April 11, 1991, incident when he allegedly "threatened to blow my head off. He told our 11-year-old daughter if he ever heard of me being with another man, he would kill us both."

Three days later, Spoonhour said Cuff cursed, assaulted and spit on her, court records state.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office was ordered by the court to confiscate two handguns from Cuff - a .357-caliber Magnum and a .38-caliber pistol - after Spoonhour filed the protection from abuse order.

Spoonhour could not be reached for comment.

Monday's shooting is the second in a month at a home on the same road. On April 23, Ernesto "Ernie" Casanova Jr. was fatally shot after he broke into Alan Frazier's mobile home at Green Acres Mobile Home Park at 4496 Sycamore Grove Road.

Monday's shooting has left neighbors in a state of disbelief. Several said they knew the couple and never heard of any problems between them.

Cuff and Goodyear moved to the one-story, red brick home with blue shutters between three and four years ago, according to neighbors.

"They were nice. I really liked the guy. He was always outside working on his yard," said George Rubio, 23, who lives with his parents in the house next door.

Rubio said both he and his mother thought they heard something from the home late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

"I'm a light sleeper. I heard a noise and the dog was barking. It was enough for me to notice it and then I didn't hear anything more," he said.

Maxine Black, who lives three houses down from the couple, said she saw them for the last time on Saturday, when Goodyear was sunbathing on the deck in the back of the home and Cuff was mowing the lawn.

"He worked all the time in the yard and around the place," Black said. "They were good neighbors. They didn't bother anyone but they would've helped you out if you needed it."

Black described the couple as "very friendly" and said Cuff had come to her home in the past to borrow some things.

"It's a sad thing. It's shocking and a little scary," said Black, who's lived in her home for 42 years without incident until the two recent shootings a month apart.

"We've never had this kind of stuff," she added.

Cuff, who was retired, worked at the Defense Logistics Agency at Letterkenny Army Depot, according to Alan Loessy, public affairs spokesman.

He had worked part time for the Chambersburg Police Department for about 20 years until the mid-1980s.

Goodyear also worked for the government, but Loessy said he doesn't know where or in what capacity.

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