Brenda Shultz, accused of of making a straw purchase of a handgun used by her boyfriend Jeffrey Lee Michael to kill three people in December, will go to trial.
Judge Elizabeth Doyle of Blair county ruled that there is enough evidence for the charges against Shultz to proceed, and that two statements Shultz made about the purchase to state police were voluntary and could be brought against her as evidence.
Shultz allegedly purchased two handguns from a sporting goods store on Michael’s behalf, telling police officers that Michael had paid for them and intended for one gun to be Shultz’ and one to be his. In purchasing the guns, Shultz had to sign state and federal documentation confirming that she was the actual buyer of the guns. Michael used the gun purchased for him in his shooting spree on December 21. Michael was killed in a shootout with police.
Shultz’ attorney is challenging the laws that she has been charged under, arguing that they are “vague and overbroad.” He points out that the law that she is charged under notes some exceptions to the requirement that the purchaser be “the actual buyer,” including a provision that permits a buyer to purchase a gun for a close family member. The defense also argues that “actual buyer” is undefined by the law.
Judge Doyle did not rule on that question, directing defense and prosecution attorneys to file briefs on the laws’ constitutionality.