Washington County homeowner won’t be charged for shooting, killing intruder
A Washington County homeowner who shot and killed an intruder on Thanksgiving morning was defending his property and will not face criminal charges, District Attorney Eugene A. Vittone II said on Thursday.
The use of deadly force by Martin Swarrow, 59, “was justified and proper in light of the facts and circumstances,” Vittone said.
The shooting occurred about 4:30 a.m. when Swarrow encountered a man who was breaking into a garage attached to his Centerville home.
Swarrow, armed with a handgun, fired a warning shot into the woods behind his house before his next bullet struck the intruder in the upper torso, Vittone said. Swarrow immediately went into the house and told his wife to call 911.
Washington County Coroner Timothy Warco pronounced Elijah J. Malanosky, 30, of Cokeburg dead at the scene.
“It’s been a long eight months. It’s been really hard on everybody,” said Swarrow’s wife, Mary, who declined to offer further comment.
Messages left with Malanosky’s family were not returned.
Vittone said the case falls under a state statute that permits the use of force in self-defense.
“Malanosky placed Swarrow in fear for his life through aggressive behavior,” Vittone said. “It is clear that under these facts, circumstances and the application of Pennsylvania’s law … justifiable use of force (was) justified.”
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reachedat 412-391-0927 or [email protected].