76-Year-Old Man Faces Charges for Allegedly Murdering Wife and Daughter in Home Amid Dispute

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A Pennsylvania man has been charged with murdering his wife and daughter during a heated argument in their home.

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Roger Hanks, 76, of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, is facing two counts of first-degree murder and other related charges in connection with the deaths of 75-year-old Judith Hanks and 37-year-old Emily Hanks, according to a press release from the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

State troopers were dispatched to the Hanks’ residence in East Marlborough Township around 6:15 p.m. on April 25 after receiving reports of a shooting. Officers found Judith and Emily unresponsive with fatal gunshot wounds, and Roger was located in the garage, according to a report from the state police.

“Emergency life-saving measures were administered, but unfortunately, they were unsuccessful,” stated the press release.

According to charging documents obtained by local media outlets WPVI, FOX43, and the New York Daily News, Roger Hanks told police that the shooting occurred during an argument with his wife while he was cleaning his gun, a Smith & Wesson 2.0 9mm handgun. He allegedly warned Judith, saying, “If you keep up, this thing is going to go off on you.”

Hanks then reportedly pointed the gun at Judith and said, “If she did not shut up and leave him alone, he was going to ‘plug’ her.” The gun discharged shortly after, and his daughter Emily “went into a rage” and “came at him” with “vengeance,” Hanks told police. He then fired the gun at Emily, who was fatally shot, according to the outlets.

Roger was the one who called police, admitting that he “had gone crazy” and shot his wife and daughter, according to reports from FOX43. He also claimed that he believed the gun was not loaded. WPVI reported that police recovered a gun and two shell casings at the scene.

Roger Hanks was arraigned on April 26 and is currently being held at the Chester County Prison without bail. He is due back in court on May 8.

Chester County District Attorney Christopher L. de Barrena-Sarobe condemned the violence, saying, “[The] Defendant senselessly shot and killed his family because of a basic dispute. It is unfathomable that anyone would react this way. I want to thank the Pennsylvania State Police who acted quickly and arrested the Defendant after being dispatched to the scene.”

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