59-year-old Bertrand Schroeder, of Dreher Twp., Pennsylvania, admitted that it was a "stupid thing" to get drunk and start "messing" with his rifles. While trying to unload one of the guns he unintentionally discharged the weapon and shot his wife, Donnalynn, in the neck.
Donnylynn, 51, was taken to the hospital and died during surgery.
Schroeder told police that his wfie had bought him a case of beer in the morning and that he spent most of the day drinking the beer. He also told police that his wife had given him money to buy the two rifles a month ago because she was concerned about rabid raccoons. Rather than go to a licensed dealer who would perform a criminal background check, he bought the guns from "a guy over in Moscow" because he knew it was illegal for him to possess guns as he had an aggravated assault conviction in New Jersey.
Schroeder was arrested and charged with criminal homicide, illegal firearm possession and fifty counts of cruelty to animals.
The animal cruelty charges were related to 50 beagles police found inside the home. According to the complaint the home and conditions were "deplorable for both human and animal welfare." The dogs were taken to a local shelter.