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Chicora man charged in shooting has had other legal run-ins

September 4, 2018 News Extra

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Gary Ellenberger

A Chicora man accused of shooting a man in the chest Sunday at the Millerstown Inn has had more than one entanglement with the law.

Gary Ellenberger, 56, is accused of shooting Heath Schrecengost, 27, of Karns City once in the chest at the eatery on South Main Street in Chicora around 1:43 a.m. State police said that after Schrecengost was wounded with an unspecified firearm, Ellenberger fled the scene. Troopers went to his Chicora home and he came out, surrendering without incident.

Ellenberger is facing charges of attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and harassment, according to officials at the Butler County Prison, where he is being held. He was arraigned by District Judge Wayne Seibel on Sunday and was denied bail.

Ellenberger's troubles with the law go back at least 12 years.

In 2006, Ellenberger was thrown out of a Chicora bar after the bar's owner claimed he was being loud and trying to get other patrons to arm wrestle him. Soon after someone blasted shotgun pellets into the door of the bar from the outside, according witness accounts. The shot also struck a truck belonging to one of the bar's owners. A jury ultimately found Ellenberger not guilty in the shooting.

Over the next few years, Ellenberger had more contact with the court system ranging from driving under the influence charges to damaging his home after the bank foreclosed on it.

Read more in the Butler Eagle.

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