The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 15, 2014

Testimony: Peek-a-boo, I shoot you

Adult drinking buddies’ kids’ game ends with .357 blast

SUNBURY — A game of peek-a-boo between two adult men after they drank a case of beer, played guitar and sharpened their knives went awry when the elder of the two blasted his buddy with a .357 Magnum, according to Northumberland County Court testimony Friday.

After being shot in his pal’s upstairs bedroom, Shamokin resident Paul Kinsey limped down the steps and downed a bath-salt cocktail to ease the pain while waiting for police and paramedics to arrive, he said under intense questioning by public defender Melissa Norton.

David Edwin Latsha, 59, of 129 S. Third St., Shamokin, is being tried on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person for allegedly shooting Kinsey.

Kinsey had just fought with his girlfriend and went to Latsha’s house that day in March 2012. Just after the beer ran out, Kinsey heard a knock on the front door, and fearing it was her, hid in a darkened upstairs room.

Once the coast was clear, Latsha called for Kinsey.

Latsha climbed the stairs, entered the room and found someone standing there with the barrel of a BB gun hiding his face, with knives tucked inside his belt buckle and others in his hand.

That person dropped the barrel of the BB gun and revealed his face.

It was Kinsey.

Latsha then squeezed the trigger on his handgun, and hit his drinking buddy in the leg, according to testimony.

“It was a bad joke,” Kinsey said. “It was meant to be funny.”

Latsha gave Kinsey a pair of pants to tie around his bleeding leg, called 911 and then rushed out of the house, while Kinsey wobbled down to the foot of the stairs and drank on an iced tea laced with bath salts.

That’s only because the case of beer he and Latsha were drinking was gone, Kinsey said.

When Shamokin police arrived, they found Latsha was slurring his speech, acting jittery and using his hands and arms to gesture as he spoke. Latsha told police he was “seeing people” in and around his home, but officers said they observed no one on the premises, police testified Friday.

Kinsey was taken to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, and apparently told different stories to emergency workers who were assisting him.

OK ... I used someone else’s Rx

Under questioning Friday by Norton, Kinsey also admitted to taking several prescriptions medicines that day, even though he didn’t have a prescription.

Kinsey earlier had told Assistant District Attorney Mike Toomey that Latsha was the one high on bath salts, and that he was shocked when his friend shot him.

Norton, a former assistant district attorney, called several professional medical witnesses to the stand who testified that Kinsey gave various versions of what happened that night, but he told at least two of them that the grown men were playing “peek-a-boo.”

During the nearly 45 minutes Kinsey was on the witness stand, most of his replies to Norton were, ‘I don’t know, ma’am.”

Norton pressed with her questioning until Kinsey admitted he wasn’t sure what he was even saying while under oath.

The trial resumes at 9:15 a.m. Monday.


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