Court news

WARREN — A Spartansburg man who was accused of shooting a man in Spring Creek earlier this year, has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge than what he originally faced. 

Haggar Brewer, 58, of Cold Spring Road, pleaded guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Victor VanTassel III. 

Brewer appeared on Wednesday at the Warren County Court of Common Pleas before President Judge Maureen Skerda, according to online court records. 

In Pennsylvania, a conviction of a first-degree misdemeanor carries a penalty of two and a half to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

First-degree felony charges of criminal homicide, murder of the third degree and voluntary manslaughter were withdrawn, according to court records.

Warren-based state police had been called to a residence on Cold Springs Road for a report of a shooting at 7:35 p.m. on March 29.

The shooting was reported to police by the victim's girlfriend who stated Vantassel had been shot following a verbal dispute that turned physical with Brewer, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed with the police criminal complaint. 

The woman told police that Brewer was on top of Vantassel during the altercation and he pulled a gun and fired it, striking Vantassel in the abdomen area. 

As troopers were en route to the residence along with EMS personnel, Brewer called 911 and was then forwarded to the Warren state police barracks at 7:39 p.m. The affidavit states Brewer told police that somebody had attacked him in the yard and he shot him. 

EMS personnel tried to treat Vantassel but he died at the scene.

Brewer was arrested on probable cause of a felony and he was interviewed at the Warren PSP barracks.

Court records show Brewer has been incarcerated at Warren County Prison since March 30. 

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