Testimony links shotgun to man accused of West Earl Twp. deadly shooting

EPHRATA, Pa. (WHTM) — A preliminary hearing revealed new information for a homicide on Aug. 9, where police say a man was shot in the head at Sheetz. Stephen Jones, 27, has been charged with homicide for the shooting death of 68-year-old Steve Walker. He appeared at the preliminary hearing […]

EPHRATA, Pa. (WHTM) — A preliminary hearing revealed new information for a homicide on Aug. 9, where police say a man was shot in the head at Sheetz.

Stephen Jones, 27, has been charged with homicide for the shooting death of 68-year-old Steve Walker. He appeared at the preliminary hearing although he currently resides at Lancaster County Prison without bail.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Ponessa presented evidence from several detectives and an employee of a Sheetz store in Ephrata – where Jones was seen minutes before the shooting.

Authorities say Jones entered the store with a shotgun and demanded gas, the employee testified. He was then seen on video attempting to get gas, before driving away.

Several surveillance cameras on the path to and from the shooting scene showed his black pickup truck pass by. A detective testified there were no passengers in the vehicle. Two witnesses also told police they saw a black pickup truck driving from the shooting scene.

Police eventually searched the pickup truck – a Chevy Silverado – and found two shotgun shells inside the cab, according to testimony.

Police determined Walker was shot through the open driver’s side window of his vehicle. He was found deceased in the driver’s seat.

A shotgun – with a spent shell casing stuck in the chamber – was found about 25 feet from where Walker was fatally shot, according to testimony. That shotgun was traced to Jones through transfer records and interviews with the gun’s previous owners.

After finding sufficient evidence at the preliminary hearing, District Judge Jonathan Heisse bound the case over for disposition in Lancaster County Court.

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