The girlfriend of a Masontown man who was shot and killed last year returned to the witness stand Tuesday to continue testifying about the night he was killed.

The commonwealth claims Christopher Shellhammer, 31, of McClellandtown intentionally killed Michael Shane Henrick, 39, in a Peach Street home in Masontown on Jan. 15, 2018, after coming there to sell Henrick’s girlfriend marijuana; Shellhammer has contended he was defending himself after he was attacked.

Henrick’s girlfriend, Kelly French, who spent the majority of Monday testifying, returned to the stand Tuesday. On Monday, she said the shooting occurred after Henrick came home and saw her and Shellhammer at the kitchen table, questioning why Shellhammer was there.

Under questioning from Fayette County Assistant District Attorney Ryan Benninger, French testified Henrick didn’t do anything that would’ve provoked Shellhammer to pull out his gun. She also testified nothing would’ve prevented Shellhammer from leaving the home if he felt he was in danger.

Shellhammer’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Michael Aubele, showed French a photo of Henrick’s Ford Focus parked at the home, showing snow visible on the roof and some on a passenger-side window.

“It was sitting there all day, wasn’t it?” Aubele asked.

French testified she didn’t know how snow accumulated on the car.

Benninger also asked French if she saw snow on any other parts of the car on the photo. She said she did not and agreed that snow can remain on a vehicle after driving somewhere.

Masontown Police Chief Scott Miller testified Shellhammer turned himself into the police after the shooting and told them where the gun was.

Aubele asked Miller about the timing of Henrick’s arrival at the scene, questioning if Henrick was lying in wait for Shellhammer at the home.

“He (Henrick) could have been there (in the house), but that doesn’t change what I found at the scene,” Miller said, adding that based on the evidence and French’s testimony, it doesn’t prove to him that Henrick had setup Shellhammer. “The basic story has not changed.”

Aubele also asked Miller if he found it strange that Henrick had just arrived at the residence, but the car keys weren’t found on his person and that he also arrived wearing shorts and no short while in 20-degree weather.

Miller said such things didn’t happen often, but have happened as he’s seen different people do different things in his line of work.

Another search of Shellhammer’s vehicle found a little less than one gram of marijuana, which was confirmed by testimony from an employee with the Pennsylvania State Police Regional Crime Lab.

Coroner Dr. Phillip Reilly testified that the manner of death was homicide due to blood loss from two gunshot wounds to Henrick’s torso.

He also found trace amounts of alcohol and marijuana in Henrick’s system.

Reilly was also asked by Aubele about injuries like a broken nose and broken maxilla that Shellhammer had. Testimony on Monday indicated French and Henrick punched Shellhammer in the face prior to the shooting.

Reilly said those injuries along with a closed head injury could cause blurred vision, confusion or a concussion.

Benninger presented Reilly with three photos of Shellhammer taken hours after the shooting, and one taken two days later. Reilly testified the photos showed swelling of the nose and forehead and bruising below Shellhammer’s eye, but it would take an X-ray to confirm any fractures.

Before recessing for the day, the jurors viewed the photos of Shellhammer that Reilly viewed in chronological after they asked President Judge John F. Wagner Jr. if they could do so.

The trial continues on Wednesday morning.

Shellhammer remains lodged in the Fayette County Prison without bail.

(2) comments




"Reilly said those injuries along with a closed head injury could cause blurred vision, confusion or a concussion."

That statement alone indicates an innocent verdict.

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