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Pa. couple who died in murder-suicide was in process of divorcing

August 26, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — A couple who died in a murder-suicide over the weekend in Chambersburg was in the process of divorcing, according to documents filed in the Franklin County (Pa.) Court of Common Pleas.

Gordon M. Brown, whom Pennsylvania State Police said fatally shot his wife and himself in their home, was seeking custody of their two sons. In his petition for custody, he claimed Kelly R. Brown filed for divorce and was “threatening to leave the home with the children.”

Brown shot Kelly Brown in the head with a handgun, then shot himself with the same gun, according to state police.

Police said the incident, which was reported by a 911 caller, occurred late Saturday or early Sunday at 431 Allen Drive.

Gordon Brown, 60, pleaded guilty to a charge of harassment filed July 21. A citation in that case alleges he held his wife down on the bed and pinched her.

The divorce petition filed by Kelly Brown, 40, three days after that citation was issued, said the marriage, which occurred May 15, 2004, was “irretrievably broken.”

The marriage was Gordon Brown’s third and Kelly (Ference) Brown’s second, the court documents said. The children are ages 11 and 8.

Both victims were surgical technologists at Chambersburg Hospital, where Gordon Brown was pronounced dead at 5 a.m. Sunday.

Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner determined Kelly Brown, whose body was found in the home, died before 3:45 a.m. Sunday.

Conner established the cause of death for each person to be a single gunshot wound, police said.

The house is in a development east of U.S. 11 north of Chambersburg.

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Editor's note: Due to a source’s error, Kelly Brown's first name was misspelled in earlier reports. It was corrected Aug. 26, 2013.

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