- Associated Press - Friday, December 1, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania State Police will review how authorities handled complaints by a 21-year-old woman in the days and weeks before she and her mother were fatally shot by her ex-boyfriend, a prosecutor said Friday.

The district attorney in Clearfield County, William A. Shaw Jr., said in a four-page statement that it is critical to ensure all policies and procedures were followed. Before Friday, Shaw had declined to answer questions about the handling of the case leading up to the Nov. 24 shootings, including whether law enforcement had had opportunities to jail the suspect before he killed anyone.

While Shaw defended how the case was handled, he also said Friday that he had not prejudged anything and that, under the circumstances, it was appropriate for the case to be reviewed.

District attorneys in several other counties said requesting a review of a case by the state police’s Bureau of Integrity and Professional Standards is rare, if not unheard of there. A Pennsylvania State Police spokesman did not respond to questions Friday.

On multiple occasions before the shootings, Victoria Schultz had complained to state police troopers that 26-year-old Cody Bush had been threatening her, starting in October. She also testified in court Nov. 8 about the threats.

Police reported a last complaint about a threat two days before Bush returned to kill Schultz and her mother, and wound Schultz’s sister.

But Bush remained free, even though he’d been ordered not to contact Schultz as part of the conditions of his $25,000 bail. The bail stemmed from stalking and harassment charges filed Nov. 1 after Schultz complained to police that Bush had installed a tracking device on her car.

Bush was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound several hours after the homicides, authorities say.

In his statement, Shaw suggested he had no options to jail Bush before the shootings.

He said only a summary harassment charge against Bush would have resulted from the Nov. 22 threat, and it could not have been used to jail Bush. Police had prepared the citation, but it was never filed, Shaw said.

Also, it would have taken more than a week to arrange a hearing to ask a judge to revoke Bush’s bail, Shaw said, in part because the courthouse was closed through the Thanksgiving weekend.

Still, authorities in other other counties said they can seek a court order to pick up a defendant for bail violations prior to a bail revocation hearing. Shaw said he did not think that is possible under existing rules.

Schultz had complained to police for weeks about the threats.

In October, Bush had threatened to blow up Schultz’s car, police wrote in a protection-from-abuse order issued Nov. 22, after Bush’s last threat.

At other points, Schultz said Bush tried to break in to her house and he threatened to “bash my head into the hood of his car, grab my throat and pull my hair and throw me in his car and to run us in front of a semi-truck,” police wrote in the protection-from-abuse order.

Police served Bush with the order at around noon on Thanksgiving Day and ensured Bush did not have any firearms, Shaw said.

Shaw said that “preliminary reports” indicate that Bush stole the firearm used in the shootings from a residence a few miles away.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide