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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Emotional prelim in homicide case

  • – On Wednesday afternoon a preliminary hearing took place at the Wayne County Courthouse regarding a homicide that occurred in South Canaan last month.
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    – On Wednesday afternoon a preliminary hearing took place at the Wayne County Courthouse regarding a homicide that occurred in South Canaan last month.
    Louis R. Ogden, 51, was charged with homicide on June 21 after shooting his niece, Rebecca Pisall, 20, at his residence, 147 Daniels Road, on June 20.
    The incident occurred after Pisall confronted Ogden about empty bags of heroin after she had a purchase.
    Pisall was flown to Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton. She had no brain activity and was taken off life support the next day.
    During the hearing, several witnesses testified including Pisall's boyfriend John Harsch, friends George Fielding and Mary Langendoerfer, Cpl. Michael Brown and Trooper Sharon Palmer from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Honesdale Barracks.
    Harsch lived with Pisall for eight months prior to the shooting. He said after waking up June 20 they had coffee together and he went to work.
    Upon his return the couple went to Ogden's residence, where she went inside and he was talking to Fielding.
    Before going to work I gave her [Rebecca] $60 that I got from working with my brother,” he said. “She later told me she was getting a bag of heroin.”
    It was confirmed that she bought the heroin from Ogden.
    Fielding stated he had stayed over Ogden's house and was woken to Pisall yelling. Langendoerfer also woke up, but didn't follow him downstairs.
    Field said he and Langendoerfer were the only ones in the house when they went to bed, but Ogden and two other individuals were there the next morning.
    I was talking to John [Harsch] then Rebecca followed me in the house,” he said. “I told her to stay in the kitchen while I got Mary.”
    He then went back upstairs.
    I heard Louis [Ogden] asking for his gun in a raised voice,” Fielding explained. “Mary came back up and told me I had to leave. I got outside quickly and ran.”
    Langendoerfer isn't related to Ogden, but was raised by him.
    He was there when no one else was,” she said.
    Page 2 of 4 - Ogden dated her mother and after the relationship ended, he continued to support Langendoerfer.
    I woke up to Becca screaming for George to wake up,” Langendoerfer stated. “He came back up and told me she wanted to talk.”
    She added Pisall wanted her to wake up Ogden and Langendoerfer refused.
    She said she was dope sick,” Langendoerfer stated.
    Langendoerfer finally decided she would wake up Ogden and told him Pisall wanted heroin.
    He threw me a black bag and said take care of it,” Langendoerfer explained.
    She stated Pisall bought $60 worth of heroin in cash.
    Pisall noticed the bags were empty, so Langendoerfer told Ogden.
    He said 'I ain't giving her (expletive) back,'” Langendoerfer stated. “He got angry, flew off the couch and went to the kitchen.”
    She added he grabbed his gun from under his pillow.
    He didn't look like my dad,” Langendoerfer said. “It all happened so fast. He flew off the couch and it happened in a second.”
    She said she saw Ogden raise his arm and point the gun at Pisall, who was sitting in a chair by the doorway.
    He whipped around to look at me and the gun went off,” Langendoerfer said. “I looked into those eyes and that wasn't my dad. He blinked a few times and it was like he came back then turned pale and went to sit on the couch.”
    She added she told Ogden he had to call 9-1-1. He sat in shock for a few minutes before she told him to call 9-1-1 again, handing him the phone.
    After she was shot, Becca stood up, stunned, then turned and dropped to the ground,” Langendoerfer said.
    When responding, Corporal Michael Brown saw Ogden on the porch with his hands up, communicating the scene was safe. There were two other troopers with him.
    When emergency personnel arrived I went outside,” Brown stated. “Louis was in the back of a patrol car. I read him his rights and asked what happened.”
    Page 3 of 4 - Brown said Ogden told him that he was sleeping and a noise woke him up. Ogden then said he saw movement to his right so he turned, then the gun went off.
    He said he didn't realize who it was,” Brown said. “He then said he put the gun down and called 9-1-1. He said he didn't realize it was his niece and didn't want to hurt her.”
    Brown added that according to Ogden there was no one else in the house to his knowledge.
    He was upset and appeared to be sorry for what happened,” Brown stated. “We want back to the barracks and discussed the story further. It was the same story over and over again.”
    Brown also said Ogden never denied shooting Pisall.
    Palmer is the criminal investigator for PSP and is the lead on this case.
    She stated Ogden told her he didn't know how Pisall got into the house or what she wanted.
    He kept telling Palmer that no one else was in the residence at the time, but started coming around “little by little” after she shared further information with him that she obtained.
    He was adamant in the beginning that no one stays at his house, but we found out that Mary was living there,” Palmer stated. “He also admitted to driving to Philadelphia with another individual to buy heroin.”
    These were two of several examples Palmer cited that Ogden started agreeing to.
    His story changed by the end of it,” she said.
    She said after an autopsy was conducted on Pisall, the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head and the manner was determined to be homicide. It was later modified to criminal homicide on the complaint.
    Ogden's lawyer, Steven Burlein, said this is a sad and tragic case. Charges against Ogden include first degree murder, delivery and possession of heroin.
    If you go back to everyone who had some knowledge of what happened, they said he [Ogden] turned and the gun went off,” he stated. “You hear that multiple times. You also heard that he was upset.”
    Page 4 of 4 - He added there may be sufficient evidence for the other charges, but doesn't believe there's enough evidence for first degree murder.
    After Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards explained why there was sufficient evidence, Magistrate Ted Mikulak agreed and the charged stands.
    No upcoming court date has been set.

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