Source: WeAreCentralPA.com – November 10, 2008
SNAKE SPRING TOWNSHIP, BEDFORD COUNTY — It’s the end of a rocky road for Karen Marie Gerholt. The 24-year-old separated from her husband, John, a few months ago. Police said she was moving on with her life, getting a job at a McDonald’s off of Route 30 in Snake Spring Township, Bedford County; but things turned deadly on Sunday afternoon, when Karen took a break from work.
“Trooper John Brown responded to that location (McDonald’s) and discovered that Karen Gerholt, 24, had been shot. Her husband, John Louis Gerholt, was taken into custody and charged with her murder,” Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins said.
State Police said John Gerholt, 38, of Mount Union shot his wife in the McDonald’s parking lot. That’s where they found a sawed-off 12 gauge shot gun and shell casings.
On Monday, WTAJ News found court documents which show that Karen Gerholt may have suspected a violent streak in her husband. She had enough suspicion to get a protection-from-abuse order two weeks ago.
“There were some phone calls that were violations of the PFA in which he was charged and convicted of just recently,” Higgins said.
John Gerholt’s trouble started back in 2002. In October 2002 he faced kidnapping, simple assault and harassment charges in Huntingdon County. Those were all withdrawn, but police charged him with harassment again in July of 2002, and then in February and August of 2006.
The year 2006 was a bad one for Gerholt. In a matter of months he was charged with simple assault and violating a protection-from-abuse order twice.
His latest charges were just weeks ago for violating the PFA his wife, Karen, filed against him.
Those recent violations led police to charge him with possession of a firearm by a disqualified person.
“This qualifying for the basis of the charges is the PFA, the fact that he was disqualified for the act of the PFA,” Higgins said. Gerholt is also being charged with Criminal Homicide, Possession of a Prohibited Offensive Weapon, Possession of a Firearm by a Disqualified Person, and other related charges.
Police are still investigating and trying to find answers for the family and three children Karen Gerholt left behind.
If you saw the suspect anytime before Sunday’s murder, State Police need your help putting together a time line. Doctors performed an autopsy on the victim Monday. WTAJ News is still waiting on those results.
Added: July 27, 2009