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Woman Who Fired Shots at Ex-Stepfather Gets 3 to 10 Years

May 31, 2018

Contact: Megan K. Stricker, 215.348.6576, mkstricker@buckscounty.org

Elizabeth Hegadorn
   Elizabeth Hegadorn

A 31-year-old woman who errantly fired three shots at her former stepfather in the victim’s Wrightstown home was sentenced Tuesday to serve three to 10 years in state prison.

Elizabeth Hegadorn of Upper Southampton attacked the man she still calls “Dad” in the belief that he had physically abused one of her young brothers.

The Sept. 13, 2017, incident happened hours after Newtown Township police concluded an investigation into child abuse allegations against Hegadorn’s stepfather, concluding that no such crime had been committed.

After that determination, Hegadorn retrieved a .22 caliber semiautomatic pistol from her workplace – a tattoo parlor in Bristol – then drove to the victim’s home in the 1100 block of Swamp Road and walked into the kitchen.

After the victim greeted her, Hegadorn pulled the weapon and fired until it jammed. The victim, who was not injured, charged toward her and wrestled the gun away.

Three other people – the victim’s fiancée and two young children – were inside the house when the gunfire happened. The bullets struck a wall above the victim’s head and a stove next to him, according to police reports.

Hegadorn fled in her orange Honda Element, and was arrested later that night when she drove back to her mother’s house in Southampton.

Hegadorn, a college fine arts graduate who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, pleaded guilty in Bucks County Common Pleas Court to charges including attempted murder, aggravated assault and discharging a firearm into an occupied structure, and multiple counts of recklessly endangering another person.

In court, Hegadorn expressed remorse for her crimes, calling it “nauseating” that she could have killed someone. The victim and his family did not speak.

The gunfire was captured on a home security video that was played in court. It shows Hegadorn entering through the kitchen doorway, where her former stepfather was making dinner.

The video shows Hegadorn immediately pointing the gun at the victim and, after a brief malfunction, firing it. As the victim ducks for cover behind the kitchen island, Hegadorn advances and fires a second time before the weapon jams, allowing the victim to disarm her.

Assistant District Attorney Megan K. Stricker, who prosecuted the case, argued for a lengthy state prison sentence. Hegadorn “knew what she was doing when she took a loaded .22 semi-automatic pistol into someone’s home and started shooting it,” Stricker said.

Judge Brian T. McGuffin, who accepted the plea, acknowledged that he was imposing a lenient sentence, citing Hegadorn’s unstable upbringing and his desire to assist with her rehabilitation.

In addition to the prison sentence, McGuffin imposed four years of consecutive probation and ordered her to have no contact with the victim.

The case was investigated by the Newtown Township Police Department.

Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
Fax: 215-348-6299

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