Murder Charges Added, Hearing Set In Stabbing

POTTSTOWN PA – A Jan. 23 (2019; Wednesday) preliminary hearing has been scheduled with Magisterial District Justice Scott T. Palladino in the case of borough resident Sean Emmell, 24, who has now been charged with first- and third-degree murder. Police allege he stabbed another man during a Jan. 3 (Thursday) argument outside Pottstown Middle School, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office announced.

The victim, 20-year-old Joshua Shupard of Gilbertsville, died four days later (Jan. 7) in Reading Hospital as a result of his injuries. When he was arrested Jan. 4, Emmell initially was charged with attempted murder, rape, aggravated assault, sexual assault, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, recklessly endangering another person, and other related charges.

Emmell has been held in the county Correctional Facility in Eagleville PA since his arrest, District Attorney Kevin R. Steele noted. Bail is not available in first-degree murder cases, his office said.

Pottstown police and the county Detective Bureau launched a joint investigation into the stabbing after officers were called Jan. 3 at 11:56 p.m. to the school, 546 N. Franklin St. Arriving officers said they found Shupard seated in a Mercury-brand Mountaineer, bleeding profusely from a large chest wound. Goodwill Ambulance transported him to Reading Hospital, where he was admitted in critical condition.

Police also found Emmell, and a 19-year-old female who was not identified by name, at the scene. A blood-stained folding knife was recovered nearby, Steele’s statement reported.

The investigation to date has revealed that the woman had picked up Emmell, with whom she had a prior relationship, and gone to the middle school to talk. Because Emmell allegedly raped her in the past, she asked Shupard, her current boyfriend, to be in the area “to keep an eye out,” according to the statement.

When Emmell acted threateningly toward her, the woman opened the car door and pulled out the folding knife. Emmell gained control of the knife. Shupard arrived, and Emmell stabbed him multiple times, police allege.

An autopsy performed Tuesday (Jan. 8) by forensic pathologist Dr. Neil Hoffman indicated the cause of death was complications of stab wounds to the chest, and determined the manner of death as a homicide, Steele added.

Steele also said the case will be prosecuted by Assistant Chief of Trials Brianna Ringwood, who oversees the DA’s Family Protection Unit, and Assistant District Attorney Kelli McGinnis.

Photo from Google Images

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