Friday, July 11, 2014

Slain woman had sought PFA

February 19. 2013 10:54PM
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BUTLER TWP. – A woman who was found shot to death in her home on Monday wrote in an application for a protection order in September that her husband had threatened to kill her and then himself.

Stacy A. Walton, 41, and her estranged husband, John J. Walton, 51, were found dead in their home at 470 E. Butler Drive by family members.

Autopsies by forensic pathologist Dr. Mary Pascucci at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital revealed the couple died from gunshot wounds, but Acting Luzerne County Coroner William Lisman had said they were not ready to make a determination on who was the perpetrator.

According to an affidavit of probable cause police used to apply for a search warrant for the home, investigators learned that the Waltons were going through a divorce.

A judge had issued a protection from abuse order against John Walton on Oct. 29, but that order was withdrawn.

In the application for the PFA order filed Sept. 24, Stacy Walton wrote that her husband on Sept. 22 had threatened to kill her and them himself. She also wrote that he had a volatile personality and that she did not feel safe, police said in the search warrant application.

According to the search warrant inventory, police seized a Jennings .22 caliber handgun, two spent cartridges, a magazine with four cartridges in it, two boxes of .38-caliber ammunition, two brass candlesticks, an iPhone with a pink case, a pink scarf, a pink article of clothing, a gold chain and a gold chain with a charm.

Police also retrieved a driver's license, receipts and handwritten notes from a vehicle parked in the garage.

Luzerne County Court records indicate John Walton filed for divorce from Stacy Walton on Nov. 28, claiming the marriage was broken. They were married in Hazleton in September 1995 and separated in late September 2012. Stacy Walton did not respond to the divorce petition she received on Dec. 4, according to court records.

John Walton listed his residence in the divorce petition as Woodlawn Drive in Hazle Township, and Stacy Walton residing in the East Butler Drive house located at the intersection of Hi Tor East on Freedom Mountain, about one mile from Freeland.

Property records say the couple purchased the property, which includes a ranch-style home with an attached two car garage, in August 2009.

Stacy Walton was a teacher at Hazleton Area School District's Freeland Elementary/Middle School in Freeland for about 10 years.

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