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Suspect pleads not guilty in shooting

September 11, 2018 Digital Media Exclusive

Gary Ellenberger

Gary Ellenberger pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to shooting Heath Schrecengost in a Chicora bar on Sept. 2.

The preliminary hearing was held in Chicora, just a few buildings away from Millerstown Inn where Schrecengost, 27, of Karns City, was shot once in the chest by what police have described as a sawed-off shotgun.

District Judge Lewis Stoughton allowed Assistant District Attorney Russ Karl to play surveillance video from the shooting to Gary Ellenberger and his lawyer.

During the hearing Trooper Nathan Brown, a first responder that night, was called as a witness and noted that the weapon has not been discovered and therefore investigators weren't certain what weapon was used. Brown also said that when police arrested Ellenberger later that day he appeared to have been drinking and had been asleep.

The state has charged Ellenberger, who is from Chicora, with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and illegal offensive weapons. Public Defender Ryan Helsel requested that Ellenberger's bond denial be reconsidered and set at $500,000. Stoughton denied the request.

The hearing was also attended by more than a dozen members of Schrecengost's family.

Read Wednesday's Butler Eagle to find out how Heath Schrecengost is doing.