- "Not guilty" was the plea entered by Benjamin Caine Kiefer on Thursday morning at the Wayne County Courthouse to the charge of Criminal Homicide in the death of his brother, 35 year old Kenneth Walter Kiefer.
Charges were filed against Benjamin Kiefer on March 24 when Pennsylvania State Police responded to a report of a shooting at 170 Bucks Cove Road in White Mills.
According to the criminal complaint, when EMS arrived on scene one male victim, later identified as Kenneth Keifer, was found "in the front room of the residence with apparent gunshot wounds to his torso." He was deceased at the time EMS arrived.
EMS officials also told police they had removed a pistol from the couch where Benjamin Kiefer was seated because there were other people in the home that were "upset and agitated."
When troopers arrived, Benjamin Kiefer stated that "he shot his brother in self-defense, that Kenny came at him" and that "he went and got a gun and shot him." He was then mirandized and taken to PSP Honesdale to be interviewed.
Benjamin Kiefer said that he was "in his bedroom with his dog" when his brother, Kenneth Kiefer, entered the room "in an aggressive manner, mumbling about Benjamin Kiefer paying for the deed to the residence," and began to punch Benjamin Kiefer in the face. Benjamin Kiefer told police that Kenneth Kiefer "is much larger" than him and is trained in mixed martial arts.
Benjamin Kiefer went on to state that he also is trained in mixed martial arts, but was injured in a motor vehicle accident around two-and-a-half years prior and "is in no shape" to fight his brother.
Benjamin Kiefer stated during the interview that he had been preparing to clean his gun and that "it was on the clothes shelf or his bed," and decided using the weapon to fire warning shots at his brother was the only way to avoid being hurt by Kenneth Kiefer. He also said the home was dark and that "he fired the gun, blindly, into the hallway."
Kevin Daniel Kiefer, 21, brother of the victim, was also interviewed by the PSP.
Kevin Kiefer stated during his interview that he was with Kenneth Kiefer at a friends' home and called Benjamin Kiefer to pick them up so they could go home and build a dog fence. Benjamin Kiefer picked them up and on the ride home, stopped to buy cigarettes for Benjamin's girlfriend, Ralissa Gibson. He also stopped to get beer, but purchased vodka instead.
Benjamin Kiefer stopped to visit a friend, Ted (last name unknown), where they stayed a while and drank. After leaving Ted's home, they stopped at Cordaro's Lounge in Honesdale.
Benjamin and Kenneth Kiefer were inside for approximately five minutes because "Benjamin was rowdy and looking for a fight." Kenneth and Benjamin Kiefer were arguing as they left the bar and continued to argue once inside the car. Benjamin Kiefer threatened to kick Kenneth Kiefer out of the vehicle and began hitting each other inside the vehicle as Ted was driving, according to the documents
Ted pulled the vehicle over into a parking lot where Benjamin and Kenneth Kiefer got out of the car and Benjamin Kiefer threw a punch at Kenneth Kiefer. Kenneth Kiefer hit Benjamin Kiefer and "knocked him down several times." They got back inside the car and took Ted home.
Benjamin Kiefer got into the driver's seat and drove home "at speeds from 80 to 100 miles per hour," almost going off of the road. When the car reached the entrance to Buck's Cove Road, Benjamin lost control of the vehicle and went into a ditch.
Benjamin, Kenneth and Kevin Kiefer walked the rest of the way to the residence and where Benjamin and Kenneth Kiefer "argued the whole way," documents indicate.
After arriving at the home, Kenneth Kiefer went to the living room and Benjamin Kiefer went in to his bedroom. Benjamin Kiefer "walked out of the bedroom with his right hand behind his back, holding a gun." He walked out to the living room and pointed the gun at Kenneth Kiefer.
Kenneth Kiefer raised his hands in front of him and Benjamin Kiefer "fired the gun one time into Kenny's torso." Kenneth fell on to the couch and screamed. Benjamin Kiefer then shot Kenneth Kiefer "four more times," records say.
When the girlfriend of Benjamin Kiefer, 28 year old Ralissa Gibson was interviewed, she stated that Benjamin had left the home to pick up Kenneth Kiefer, who was in Cherry Ridge at his girlfriend's home around 5:30 p.m. Gibson said she went to bed "some time after Benjamin left."
They next time she saw Benjamin Kiefer was around 10:30 p.m. when he entered the bedroom. Gibson stated that Benjamin Kiefer stated, referring to Kenneth Kiefer, "That fat f--- wrecked my car." She noticed that Benjamin Kiefer's knuckles were bleeding and that his eye was puffy, "like he had been into a fight."
Kenneth Kiefer entered the bedroom and walked into the hallway with Benjamin Kiefer. Gibson went back to bed once they had left the room.
Gibson said she heard sounds "like bodies knocking things over, and then it stopped." A few minutes after that, she heard "like a million" gun shots. Upon entering the living room she saw Kenneth Kiefer on the floor and Benjamin Kiefer standing nearby. She then ran outside, called 911 and handed the phone to Kevin Kiefer.
When Benjamin Kiefer was asked additional questions about the incident, he stated that he did remember getting cigarettes for his girlfriend, stopping at Cordaro's and going to the liquor store. He denied fighting in the parking lot and driving his car, but did state that he was driving with Ted earlier that day.
Once the intervew was conducted with Benjamin Kiefer, Gibson was allowed to briefly see him. She said she did not know if she could go back to the house. Kiefer became angry and told her "that he owned the house and she could go back there."