HONESDALE - Louis R. Ogden was charged with homicide on Monday, one day after his niece died from a gunshot wound.
Authorities said Ogden, 51, armed with a .38 caliber revolver, shot Rebecca Pisall, 20, in the head during a dispute over heroin.
The shooting happened at house on Daniels Road in South Canaan on Friday morning.
Ogden told police he shot his niece after an argument over $20 worth of heroin, according to paperwork.
Pisall was flown to Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton. She had no brain activity and was taken off life support Saturday morning.
Ogden was arraigned before District Judge Ted Mikulak at the Wayne County Courthouse and jailed without bail at the county prison.
The suspect is scheduled to appear in Central Court at 9 a.m. July 2.
District Attorney Janine Edwards said the investigation is continuing but no other people are expected to be charged. There were five people in the house at the time of the shooting.
The district attorney also said nothing is leading authorities to believe the shooting was accidental.
In a news release Edwards said, "Heroin in our community not only creates addiction, theft, domestic abuse and other crimes but it also takes lives. The fact that Rebecca was shot in the head because of an argument over $20.00 worth of heroin demonstrates the severe risk and dangers of this drug."
Edwards also commended state police for their work in quickly apprehending the suspect.
According to an affidavit prepared by Trooper Sharon Palmer:
A trooper responded to the residence after a 911 call to find Ogden standing on the porch. Ogden told the trooper he was not armed.
Pisall was on the kitchen floor, lying face up, breathing and moving with a visible gunshot wound to her head.
Ogden's parents told a trooper that several people had left the house after the shooting.
One of them was George Robert Fielding, who told police he saw Pisall arrive Friday morning with her boyfriend, John Harsch.
Fielding told police he heard Pisall say, "There's nothing here. I want my money back."
According to Fielding, Ogden said, "Where's my gun" three times.
Fielding, who was in another room, then heard a gunshot.
Ogden's daughter, Mary Margaret Geraldine Langendoerfer, told Fielding that they had to leave.
Fielding said Pisall would occasionally purchase heroin from Ogden.
Harsch, Pisall's boyfriend, told police she had awakened that morning "dope sick."
Pisall was mad at her uncle because she had purchased $20 worth of heroin from Ogden and she felt ripped off.
Harsch told police he felt Pisall wanted to confront her uncle.
Harsch was outside the residence when he heard a gunshot and someone say, "What did you do?"
He then heard two girls crying.
"People starting coming out of the house and waving their hands at him saying, 'go go go.'
"Harsch related that he just knew that Pisall had been the one to get shot and that Ogden is volatile," according to the complaint.
Harsch was afraid to go in the house so he left.
Ogden told police he had gone to Philadelphia on Thursday to buy heroin, purchasing three bundles containing 10 packets each.
He had used 20 of the packs himself and arrived home around midnight Friday, falling asleep.
Langendoerfer awoke Ogden later that morning saying his niece was there and wanted back her money.
Ogden rose from the couch and retrieved his loaded gun from a coffee table.
Ogden told police he cocked the hammer and went into the kitchen to Pisall.
"Ogden related that he pointed the gun at her to scare her and that he pulled the trigger," according to the affidavit.
Edwards stated, "We have seen overdoses increase as well as crime and I am as committed as ever to continue the fight against heroin and other drugs in our towns. The Wayne County Drug Task Force works day and night to eradicate illegal drug activity and will continue to do so."