Police: Attempted homicide over heroin

Last month’s shooting in Montoursville was an act of revenge by two gunmen who set out to kill a Jordan Avenue resident after he stole “numerous bricks of heroin” from them, according to state police.

Early Monday morning, one of the gunman, Donte Jamal Jones, 22, of Colwyn, a small Delaware County community outside Philadelphia, was arraigned on attempted homicide and related offenses for alleged firing shots at Chad Stutzman, an admitted heroin addict, inside the man’s first-floor apartment at 324 Jordan Ave. about noon on May 28, police said.

A second suspect remains at large.

The two gunmen forced their way into Stutzman’s first-floor apartment by kicking in the back door and fired “three shots at close range” at the tenant, who managed to escape, Trooper Tyson Havens said in an affidavit.

“Three shell casings were found in the kitchen-dining room of the apartment. Three bullet holes were found in the front door,” that Stutzman used to make his escape, Havens said.

Two additional bullet holes were discovered in an apartment, where an elderly woman was sleeping on a couch, he added.

Just days before the shooting, Stutzman drove Jones and the second man who is being sought, from Williamsport to Philadelphia to supposedly pick up some heroin, Havens said investigators were told.

Stutzman agreed to take the two men to the city on May 22 because he “was short on money and needed heroin,” Havens said.

While in the city, but before the heroin purchase took place, Stutzman drove Jones to an office building, where Jones reportedly met his probation officer, the investigator said. Information on why Jones was on probation was unavailable.

After the meeting, Jones directed Stutzman to drive to a home, about 30 minutes away, where Jones and his drug-dealer accomplice “obtained heroin that Jones stashed in the trunk of Stutzman’s car, under the spare tire,” Havens said.

At their request, Stutzman drove the two men to shoe store “so that they could purchase new shoes,” Havens said.

All three went into the store, but at some point, Stutzman sneaked out after excusing himself to go to the bathroom, Havens said.

Stutzman jumped into his car and drove directly to his apartment, where he discovered “several bricks of heroin (50 bags per brick)” inside his trunk, Havens said, adding that the borough resident also found two handguns under the spare tire.

“Stutzman secured the heroin and guns in his apartment, and then used some of the heroin,” Havens said.

When Stutzman picked up the two men for the Philadelphia trip, Stutzman saw Jones “stash” something in the trunk, but it was unknown if it was drugs, weapons or something else, Haven said.

The very next day, Stutzman picked up a buddy in Williamsport and returned to his apartment, where the two “used the stolen heroin. They also checked the trunk of Stutzman’s car to see if anything was missed, and they found dozens of vials of crack cocaine,” Havens said.

The two friends “divided the cocaine amongst them,” Havens said, adding that the men used some of the cocaine and Stutzman gave his friend one of the guns before driving him back to Williamsport.

Within minutes after the man got out the car, Stutzman was confronted by Jones in the 600 block of Elmira Street, Havens said.

Stutzman tried to get away, but Jones pursued him “by unknown means to the intersection of Market Street and Little League Boulevard, where Stutzman stopped at a red light,” Havens said.

Jones managed to get into Stutzman’s car “and began attacking him over the heroin theft” and demanding to know where his drugs were,” Havens said.

Stutzman fled only after “jamming his thumb into Jones’ eye and pushed him out of the moving vehicle,” the investigator added.

After he was taken into custody, Jones was arraigned about 12:30 a.m. before District Judge Jon E. Kemp on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated and simple assault, discharging a firearm into an occupied building, recklessly endangering, burglary possession with intent to deliver heroin and carrying a firearm without a license. He was ordered to the Lycoming County Prison without bail.