Pennsylvania man convicted in death of daughter from bullet that hit him first hit him.
Ciara Meyer, 12, was killed when a constable serving eviction papers fired on Donald Meyer Jr, who pointed a loaded rifle
‘Parents are supposed to protect their children, not put them in harm’s way,’ said a defense attorney.
A Pennsylvania man was convicted on all charges in the death of his 12-year-old daughter, who was shot by a constable serving eviction papers with a bullet that went through her father’s arm.
Perry county authorities said that in January 2016 Donald Meyer Jr, 60, pointed a loaded rifle at the constable. The officer fired and the bullet wounded Meyer but killed Ciara Meyer, who was standing behind him.
Andrew Bender, a defense attorney, told jurors Meyer was responsible for his daughter’s death.
“Parents are supposed to protect their children,” he said, according to PennLive.com. “Not put them in harm’s way.”
The property manager Ashley Hill, who recorded the confrontation with her cellphone from about 20ft away, testified that the girl stepped up behind her father.
“Ciara kept saying, ‘Dad, stop. Dad, stop,”’ Hill recalled, dabbing tears.
The defendant had anti-government views, Hill said, and “thought everyone was against him”.
Jerry Philpott, another defense attorney, said Meyer feared his home was “being invaded” and picked up a gun he had been cleaning to try to protect his residence. Meyer blamed the constable for his daughter’s death.
Jurors deliberated for about two hours on Friday before convicting Meyer, of Duncannon, of third-degree murder, aggravated assault and other counts. Meyer still faces firearms-related charges and remains in custody without bail, pending sentencing.
Meyer, who is in a wheelchair recovering from a stroke, criticized his court-appointed attorneys, saying jurors did not hear other witnesses. Philpott declined comment. Meyer was the only defense witness, against the advice of his attorneys.
Family members said they were relieved by the outcome of the trial.
“We still talk about her today, every day actually, and this is a good day for her,” said Jason Gehman, Ciara’s uncle.