Man charged in homicide free on bond

February 08, 1998

Man charged in homicide free on bond


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Chambersburg man charged Friday with the shooting death of a friend 19 years ago was released on bond Saturday afternoon.

A Franklin County Prison official said Michael Wayne McCormick Jr., 49, posted $40,000 bond. District Justice Larry G. Pentz, who arraigned McCormick on Friday, said a bail bondsman put up the money.

McCormick was charged with criminal homicide in the March 28, 1979, shooting of Alan Bennett Cosey, 23, in Cosey's apartment at 226 W. Second St., Waynesboro, Pa. Cosey was shot once in the chest with a black powder revolver.


The case was originally ruled a suicide by Waynesboro police and lay dormant until last summer, when the psychiatrist for Cosey's widow prompted private investigator Kenneth L. Peiffer III to take a second look.

Dr. Harvey Shapiro had been treating Vicki Lemmon, 42, of Chambersburg, since 1989, Lemmon said Sunday. She said she knew "from day one" that McCormick shot her husband.

Lemmon said her husband, who worked at Grove Manufacturing, knew McCormick prior to the couple getting married in 1973. "They were friends, supposedly," she said.

It was McCormick who told Waynesboro police of the shooting, Lemmon said.

"Originally, he told them that they'd left the bar in South Mountain and Ben dropped Mick at the square" in Waynesboro, she said. She said McCormick told police he later walked back to Cosey's apartment and found the body.

Lemmon said McCormick walked to the borough police headquarters to report the death. She also said she told borough police her suspicions from the beginning.

"I knew what Mick was like and I knew what they were like when they were drinking. I tried to warn Ben that something would happen," she said.

"I would suspect it had something to do with drugs and alcohol, that they just got to arguing," Lemmon said when asked what she thought caused the shooting.

She described McCormick as "a pretty temperamental person" when she knew him prior to Cosey's death.

She said she told Shapiro her suspicions about McCormick early on, although it was not until last year that Shapiro contacted Peiffer. Peiffer and his father, Franklin County Coroner Kenneth L. Peiffer, then met with state police on July 24.

Lemmon said she once confronted McCormick after seeing him in a store where she was working in 1993. She said he was "very calm. He told me the same thing he told police. He didn't know what happened."

After the suicide ruling, police gave Lemmon the gun that killed her husband. She later turned it over to state police for testing.

According to Pentz, charging documents said McCormick told state police at the barracks Friday that he had pulled the trigger on the handgun. Pentz said the affidavit did not go into great detail, but was sufficient to support the charge being filed.

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