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Trial ordered in Pa. slaying case

January 30, 1998

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - District Justice Gary L. Carter, after hearing testimony from two Pennsylvania state troopers Friday, bound over for trial a murder case against Victor Harold Vaughn Jr. in the Nov. 19 shooting death of Tonya Marie Caldwell, 29, of Fayetteville, Pa.

Vaughn, 43, is being held without bond. His case now goes to the Court of Common Pleas for trial on a charge of criminal homicide.

No trial date has been set.

Vaughn told police that he shot Caldwell after she ordered him to move out of the two-story house they had been living in at 1472 Mountain Shadow Terrace, according to Trooper Jeremy Matas, one of the first officers on the scene.

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Caldwell, the mother of two sons, 8 and 10, was shot twice with a 9mm handgun, according to testimony Friday. She was found on the kitchen floor.

Matas testified that once Caldwell was placed in handcuffs on the lawn in front of the house he told the trooper that Caldwell wanted him to move out and that she wanted to see another man. Vaughn also said that Caldwell had called his sister and told her she wanted Vaughn to move out, according to testimony from Matas.

Vaughn and Caldwell had been seeing each other for about two years and had been living together for about a year, according to testimony.

Caldwell's mother and two sons also lived in the house. All three were home at the time of the shooting, according to police.

Vaughn told Matas that he and Caldwell were arguing about his moving out.

According to Cpl. Mark Grove, a state police criminal investigator, Vaughn told police he went upstairs to a closet in the bedroom he shared with Caldwell and got the gun. It was loaded and there was a live shell in the chamber, that all he had to do to fire it was to take the safety off, according to Grove's testimony.

Matas testified that he asked Vaughn if shooting Caldwell was a spur-of-the moment action or something that he had planned. Vaughn said he had been thinking about it for a couple of weeks, then said he had been thinking about it for a few months, according to testimony.

Grove, also testified that an autopsy on Caldwell showed that she died from two bullet wounds, one in the neck and one in the chest.

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