Matthew J. Reed is escorted to a court proceeding by Pennsylvania state police troopers on June 10.

Eric Scicchitano

SHAMOKIN — Matthew J. Reed wept during his arraignment Thursday on triple homicide charges and spoke defiantly toward the arresting officer, denying he told investigators he took a gun to a Snydertown home with the intent to commit murder.

“Is there any way to get bail though?” Reed, 23, asked Magisterial District Judge John Gembic inside the Shamokin district courtroom. “I’m not a horrible person. I made a mistake.”

“Three people lost their lives and that’s why I can’t set bail,” Gembic told Reed.

Trooper Josiah Reiner, state police at Stonington, arrested Reed on homicide and related counts. Reed allegedly confessed to fatally shooting Susan Williams, 58, James Dicken, 59, and an unidentified 17-year-old male on Wednesday at 3425 Snydertown Road.

Reed and the victims were in a dispute over his attempted purchase of a used car, police said. Inside Gembic’s courtroom, Reiner was stoic when Reed turned in his direction from the defense table and wept while saying that he didn’t tell the arresting officer that he brought a gun to the Snydertown home with murderous intent.

“That’s not what I said to you, sir. I never said that,” Reed said, raising his voice to be heard. “I said I’ve been carrying a gun for three years to protect my life in the event somebody tried to take my life.”

Reed told the court that he had been robbed before. He cringed and huddled over, his head hung low, when Gembic denied bail.

Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz argued that Reed was not entitled to bail since he’s charged with homicide. He said Reed potentially faces a maximum sentence of life in prison or the death penalty.

A preliminary hearing is set for June 22 in Gembic’s courtroom.

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