Just days after Benjamin Cain Kiefer, 30, shot and killed his older brother Kenneth Walter Kiefer, 34, at 170 Bucks Cove Road in White Mills, residents are scared.
-Just days after Benjamin Cain Kiefer, 30, shot and killed his older brother Kenneth Walter Kiefer, 34, at 170 Bucks Cove Road in White Mills, residents are scared.
At least that's what some people think an area television station is portraying, and the mayor of Honesdale is not pleased.
During one of their evening broadcasts, WBRE was talking to a Honesdale resident, whose face was blurred, saying he was “fearful of living in Honesdale.”
Langendoerfer spoke out about the broadcast and even wrote a letter to the station.
“I'm pretty upset with what I saw,” he said. “They painted Honesdale as not the place to be. They only showed images from Honesdale when the incident had nothing to do with the borough. It was an unfortunate domestic incident that took place outside the borough. They almost made it seem like there was a shoot out in town.”
He went on to talk about Honesdale and how it really isn't in bad shape.
“Our school district, compared to others, is pretty good,” Langendoerfer said. “Compared to other places, the borough is in pretty good shape. The police department has been extremely good about what they're doing and they've been on top of things. I feel bad for the police after all they've been doing lately, then to turn around and see something like this. The way the station painted Honesdale isn't good at all. They never come here for any of the good things either.”
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Pennsylvania State Police Troopers Wayne Thomas Jr. and Sharon Palmer, they were contacted by the Wayne County Communication Center just before 11 p.m. on March 23.
They were notified of a shooting and possible homicide at 170 Bucks Cove Road, White Mills, Texas Township. The troopers reported that the residence was a ranch style house with wood siding and a Honda vehicle was in the front yard, bearing a PA Registration HYV-7320.
Upon EMS arrival one male victim was located in the front room of the residence with apparent gunshot wounds to his torso. The report said that EMS checked the victim and was found deceased. EMS reported they removed a pistol from the couch where Benjamin Kiefer, brother of the victim, was seated because there were “other people in the house” and they were “upset and agitated.”
The victim's brothers Kevin and Benjamin identified the victim as Kenneth Kiefer.
The affidavit said that when Troopers Daniel Kimes and Kelly Todd arrived, Benjamin told them he shot his brother in self-defense, saying that Kenneth came at him so he grabbed his gun and shot him.
Trooper Kimes secured Benjamin in a patrol vehicle. When Trooper Palmer arrived on scene, he was seated in the rear seat of a marked patrol car and was mirandized. Immediately after, Benjamin again told police he shot his brother in self-defense.
Benjamin was transported to PSP Honesdale by Trooper Palmer and Corporal Michael Golay. Benjamin was interviewed around 2 a.m. March 24 by Troopers Thomas and Palmer.
He related that he was in his bedroom with his dog when his brother Kenneth came into his bedroom in “an aggressive manner,” mumbling about Benjamin paying for the deed to the residence, and began to physically assault him by “punching him in the face.”
The report then said Benjamin related that Kenneth is much larger than himself and is trained in mixed martial arts. He said that he is also trained in mixed martial arts but was injured in a motor vehicle accident two and a half years ago, so he was in “no shape” to fight against Kenneth.
Benjamin said he had been preparing to “clean his gun” and it was on the clothes shelf or his bed, unable to remember. He said he felt his “only recourse” to protect himself from being hurt was to “shoot warning shots” at his brother. Benjamin said it was dark in the residence and he fired the gun, blindly, into the hallway.
Younger brother speaks to police
Kevin Daniel Kiefer, 20, brother of the victim, was interviewed at PSP Honesdale by Golay and Trooper Mark Pizutti. He said that he and Kenneth had been hanging out at a friend's house and called Benjamin for a ride so they could go back to the 170 Bucks Cove Road residence “to set up a dog fence.” Benjamin picked them up and on the way back to the residence, stopped to pick up a pack of cigarettes for Benjamin's girlfriend, Ralissa Gibson.
Kevin said Benjamin decided to stop and get beer from the liquor store but purchased vodka instead. He then stopped to see a friend, Ted (unknown last name) and they stayed there for a while, drinking. When they left Ted's house they stopped at Cordaro's Lounge in Honesdale.
Benjamin and Kenneth were inside for about five minutes because Benjamin was rowdy and “looking for a fight.” They were arguing when they came out of the bar and continue to argue once inside the car. Benjamin threatened to kick Kenneth out of the car and they started hitting one another as Ted was driving.
Ted pulled over into the Pizza Hut parking lot where Benjamin and Kenneth exited the vehicle and Benjamin threw a punch at Kenneth. Kenneth then hit Benjamin and knocked him down several times. They got back in the car and took Ted home.
Benjamin got into the driver's seat and “drove home at speeds from 80 to 100 mph,” almost going off the road. When they reached the entrance for Bucks Cove Road Benjamin did lose control of the vehicle and ran into a ditch.
While Benjamin, Kenneth and Kevin walked to the residence, Kenneth and Benjamin argued the whole way. Upon arriving at the residence, Kenneth went to the living room and Benjamin went into his bedroom.
Benjamin walked out of the bedroom with “his right hand behind his back, holding a gun” then he walked to the living room and pointed the gun at Kenneth, who raised his hands in front of him. Benjamin fired the gun one time into Kenneth's torso. Kenneth fell down onto the couch behind him and screamed. He was shot four more times.
Gibson was interviewed by Trooper Kyle Hnat at PSP Honesdale. She stated that she is Benjamin's girlfriend and resides with him at 170 Bucks Cove Road. She said that around 5:30 p.m. she was “at her house” with Benjamin.
He then left to pick up Kenneth who was in Cherry Ridge at his girlfriend's house. Gibson said she went to bed some time after Benjamin left and the next time she saw him was around 10:30 p.m. when he came home and walked into the bedroom.
Gibson stated Benjamin told her, “That fat f*** wrecked my car.” She said Benjamin's knuckles were bleeding and that his eye was puffy, “like he had been in a fight.” Kenneth came into the bedroom and they both walked out of the bedroom and into the hallway.
Gibson said she got out of bed when Benjamin first got home, but after Kenneth and Benjamin left the room, she went back to bed. She stated she heard sounds “like bodies knocking things over,” and then it stopped. She said about 3-5 minutes later she heard “like a million” gun shots.
Gibson told police she ran out of the bedroom to see what happened and saw Kenneth on the floor and Benjamin standing near him. She said she ran, grabbed a phone, ran outside to call 9-1-1 and handed the phone to Kevin.
After receiving additional information about the events as reported by Kevin and Gibson, Benjamin was asked several additional questions about the new information. He said he now remembered getting cigarettes for his girlfriend, stopping at Cordaro's and going to the liquor store. He denied fighting in the Pizza Hut parking lot as well as driving the car, but admitted he was driving with Ted earlier that day.
After the interview was conducted, Gibson was permitted to briefly see him. Gibson said she didn't know if she could go back to the house and Benjamin became angry, telling her that “he owned the house and that she could go back there.”
Benjamin was charged with one count of homicide by Troopers Palmer and Thomas. He appeared before Magistrate Ted Mikulak early on March 25. He was incarcerated in the Wayne County Correctional Facility without bail. He is expected to appear in Central Court on April 3 at 9 a.m.