Pennsylvania man turns self in after killing ‘moocher’ friend over plate of food

By Tom Boggioni
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 10:14 EDT
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A Pennsylvania man is under arrest for murder after calling police and telling them he killed a friend over a plate of a food.

James Buterbaugh, 59, shot his neighbor and friend, David Ackerson, 51, following a dispute that escalated after Buterbaugh accused Ackerson of “mooching’ off of people, according to WTAE.

Buterbaugh told police that he was awakened by Ackerson as he slept in his truck early Sunday morning. The two men drank beer before Ackerson left to go to church and Buterbaugh fell back  asleep in his truck.

According to police, Buterbaugh explained that Ackerson returned later with two plates of food prepared by Buterbaugh’s mother, Donna Lee Buterbaugh.

Buterbaugh confessed to police that he grew angry with Ackerson because he “always mooches” off of people, before he drove off on a gas-well access road between his house and the house where Ackerson lived.

Ackerson followed Buterbaugh and as he approached his truck, Buterbaugh told him to leave to leave or he would shoot him.

According to Buterbaugh, Ackerson said, “Go ahead and shoot me,” at which point Buterbaugh did.

Afterward, Buterbaugh called 911 to report the shooting.

“You want to talk about a senseless killing? A plate of food. The defendant alleged that the victim had been mooching food from his mother and that upset him,” said Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty. “The ironic thing was she made a plate of food for the defendant and one for the victim, for some reason that didn’t sit well with the defendant.”

“My understanding is that they were friends and they would drive places together and he would help out, the victim would help out, so I think this is really a big surprise,” Dougherty added.

Buterbaugh, who walks with the aid of a walker, was taken into custody and has charged with homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault, and is being held without bond.

Watch the video below from WTAE:

Tom Boggioni
Tom Boggioni
Tom Boggioni is based in the quaint seaside community of Pacific Beach in less quaint San Diego. He writes about politics, media, culture, and other annoyances. Mostly he spends his days at the beach gazing at the horizon waiting for the end of the world, or the sun to go down. Whichever comes first.
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