Franklin County jury hears of alcohol...

Franklin County jury hears of alcohol use before Blue Ridge Summit slaying

There are 58 comments on the Public Opinion story from Feb 7, 2011, titled Franklin County jury hears of alcohol use before Blue Ridge Summit slaying. In it, Public Opinion reports that:

A jury heard details Monday about the noisy, alcohol-fueled argument that reportedly led to a Blue Ridge Summit man being shot in the face.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Public Opinion.

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Really

Orrtanna, PA

#44 Feb 9, 2011
imt wrote:
<quoted text>
That's right, very good. We shall see if the jury believes Mr. Harrigan was protecting his wife and infant child from someone who was threatening to harm them. He will have to live with this the rest of his life but I'm sure if his family was harmed as Mr. Wetzel threatened to do, it would be even harder for him.
quit it, there is nothing in the testimony or charging documents that states threats were made against anyone but the shooter. Your making stuff up to justify murder. If the murderer had stayed in his home and minded his own business he would be with his family rather than heading to prison. He!! if he had sat in his home with his gun rather than in the front lawn he wouldn’t be facing a prison term.
cletus slack jawed yocal

Orrtanna, PA

#45 Feb 9, 2011
this is why I put "No Trespassing" signs around my lot in the trailer park, that 60'x 100' lot I pay rent on each month is mine and nobody has a right to step on it. course I’d give em a warning shot to the arse before blowing their face off.
iat

Frostburg, MD

#46 Feb 9, 2011
Really wrote:
<quoted text>
quit it, there is nothing in the testimony or charging documents that states threats were made against anyone but the shooter. Your making stuff up to justify murder. If the murderer had stayed in his home and minded his own business he would be with his family rather than heading to prison. He!! if he had sat in his home with his gun rather than in the front lawn he wouldn’t be facing a prison term.
I made nothing up. Read the articles about the trial. You will see that the police were there earlier in the evening and he even made threats then.

Harrigan, who lived a couple doors down at 13799 Blue Ridge Ave., complained about the noise, and asked the family to quiet down and go inside. "He said his baby was trying to sleep," James testified.

Steven "yelled back, something along the lines of,'mind your own business,'" according to Nathan.

The two men began to "exchange words" in front of Harrigan's house, according to testimony. Wetzel was telling Harrigan to join him in the street and fight, and Harrigan was trying to get Wetzel to come into his yard, James testified.

She said the confrontation lasted about 40 minutes. "They were just yelling back and forth," James said.

Nathan Wetzel said he approached his father and began talking to him, "trying to diffuse the situation and get my father to come back down before the police were called." He was eventually successful.

By this time, Chad Wetzel had already gone home with his mother and girlfriend. Shortly after the confrontation ended, two Washington Township Police officers arrived and asked to speak with Steven Wetzel. "He was still upset, but not loud and screaming, that I can remember," Nathan testified.

James said she heard Steven tell the police that he was going to "kick (Harrigan's) ass," and that he would do the same to any police officer who tried to stop him.

The officers told Wetzel to leave his neighbor alone, and eventually left. Afterwards, Nathan, Steven and James drove to a convenience store in Smithsburg, Md., to buy cigarettes, according to testimony.
lindsaylotter

Landisburg, PA

#47 Feb 9, 2011
imt wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm not familiar with that case. I'm checking it out now.
If you check it out you will be discouraged. Chad got a min. of 6 years. It's not lookin good for Harrigan. I beleive Chad had every reason to claim self defence and he got screwed.
iat

Frostburg, MD

#48 Feb 9, 2011
I'm sure I will be. People shouldn't be on here telling lies if they don't know what happened that night. A man was trying to protect his family from someone who had been a problem in the neighborhood because of his drinking. He felt threatened and was told his family would be hurt. Mr. Wetzel threatened the police that evening. Check into Mr. Harrigan's past and see what he was like and check into Mr. Wetzel's. It's a shame someone died that night. Both families may have lost a loved one. One is dead and the other will be living the rest of his life with what he felt he had no choice in doing to protect his family. It's a lose lose situation.
lindsaylotter

Landisburg, PA

#49 Feb 9, 2011
I live in Chad Kirby's area. We saw a little of what happened and heard the whole story of witnesses who watched the entire event, immediatly after. My opinion, Chad had every right to feel he needed to do what he did. The police were called but didn't come for 45 min., they all rolled in minutes after the shooting call. Some people say they were waiting down the street at the church (I don't know that for fact).

I have lost all faith in the "justice system". You CAN NOT protect yourself and the police don't help. If you feel your life is in danger you have three choices:
Let them kill you,
kill yourself and get it over with quickly,
or plan to go to jail if you kill them.

It's not like you think... the system sucks.
justmyinput

Waynesboro, PA

#50 Feb 9, 2011
iat wrote:
I'm sure I will be. People shouldn't be on here telling lies if they don't know what happened that night. A man was trying to protect his family from someone who had been a problem in the neighborhood because of his drinking. He felt threatened and was told his family would be hurt. Mr. Wetzel threatened the police that evening. Check into Mr. Harrigan's past and see what he was like and check into Mr. Wetzel's. It's a shame someone died that night. Both families may have lost a loved one. One is dead and the other will be living the rest of his life with what he felt he had no choice in doing to protect his family. It's a lose lose situation.
The murderer states he was protecting his family... Not fact but, story he is now telling... Loaded firearm, waiting... MURDER! Only Harrigan had a problem with Steve Wetzel in the neighborhood. Didn't you watch the news following the murder? Neighbors were interviewed. They were crying and saddened at the loss of a friend. Mrs. Harrigan was distraught on the phone with 911; probably because her lunatic of a husband had loaded his weapon and was in the front yard playing Rambo! Harrigan is a disgrace to our military.
iat

Frostburg, MD

#51 Feb 9, 2011
justmyinput wrote:
<quoted text>
The murderer states he was protecting his family... Not fact but, story he is now telling... Loaded firearm, waiting... MURDER! Only Harrigan had a problem with Steve Wetzel in the neighborhood. Didn't you watch the news following the murder? Neighbors were interviewed. They were crying and saddened at the loss of a friend. Mrs. Harrigan was distraught on the phone with 911; probably because her lunatic of a husband had loaded his weapon and was in the front yard playing Rambo! Harrigan is a disgrace to our military.
Maybe you should talk to those in his unit to find out if he was/is a disgrace to them. Yes Mrs. Harrigan was distraught, her husband was being threatened by Mr. Wetzel, she heard it and even the 911 dispatcher heard it through the phone. No, other neighbors had problems with him also. Check into his record and find out how many times he had been in jail. He was not a model citizen as you would like to have him portayed. Mr. Harrigan told the police that night that he was protecting his family. Go back and reread what has been posted by the newspaper and the recording that they have played in court.
iat

Hagerstown, MD

#52 Feb 9, 2011
Both sides rested their case today.

http://www.herald-mail.com/news/hm-harrigan-t...
Sad

Manchester, MD

#53 Feb 9, 2011
The whole situation is a tragedy. We can all try to judge and say "what if?" but nobody knows until they are in that situation. Imagine knowing your dad your whole life and learning your loud ways from him. Imagine losing your husband and father because he was so drunk he couldn't stop shouting threats at the neighbor. Imagine your guilt at being too drunk yourself to stop your dad from going back over there and ending up dead.

Also try to imagine not knowing if the beloved, friendly neighborhood drunk was going to make good on his threats to hurt you, kill you and hurt your family. Imagine being thought of by the neighbors as "strange" because you keep to yourself, don't party and shout like they do but instead try to focus on your wife and baby. Imagine serving your country in Iraq, suffering through that hell only to come back and have dumb people speculate on your mental fitness, your wife's devotion and call you a murderer. Imagine living with the fact that you killed a man when you truly felt threatened, and wondering "if only"...

I feel bad for the family of Steven Wetzel because they lost their loved one and probably feel guilty for not doing more to help him that night, maybe he would still be alive. I know for a fact that Michael Harrigan feels horrible and that he comes from a very good family. I hope the police officers involved in this are bearing their share of guilt, too for their complete ineptitude.

So truly glad I do not live in PA any longer.
Tara

Newburg, PA

#54 Feb 11, 2011
HMM wrote:
So, they drove to MD to get cigarettes? There wasn't a convenience store closer? Or just not one in PA that sells more Beer?
You obviously know nothing about that area wetzel lived on the maryland border AND NO NO CONVENIENCE STORE WAS CLOSER
Tara

Newburg, PA

#55 Feb 11, 2011
top chef wrote:
I'm still trying to get over the fact that he took his son to a court-ordered D&A class, and then to the bar! Defiant to the end, wasn't he? What a tragedy for everybody involved in this mess.
and what you are perfect and have never made a bad decision......come on that has nothing to do with the trial.....or the fact Steve was killed
Tara

Newburg, PA

#56 Feb 11, 2011
Amanda wrote:
Steve was a good guy. NOT A DRUNK.. And sure as hell didn't deserve to be killed by some pin head who thinks just cause he was a solider in Iraq he can get away with murder.. The truth will come out and Steve can finally rest in peace. FOr those who don't know anything about Steve and his family and are going off hear say mind your manners. Steve was something to all of them whether it be a friend,father,brother,uncle,gr andfather he ment somethign to them. What is being said is not fair. Justice will be served and this so called Solider who killed a harmless man will get the punishment he deserves for the murder of Steve.
Amanda.....I got your back on this girl....didnt know Steve but I know his one son Nate and whatever Steve did with his boys that niht is soooooooooooooo completely irrelevant it is insane...No one is perfect. and you are correct people lost a loved one no matter what kinda man he was or how he acted...bottom line IS STEVE WEZTEL AND HIS FAMILY ARE THE TRUE VICTIMS HERE
cletus slack jawed yocal

Orrtanna, PA

#57 Feb 12, 2011
iat wrote:
<quoted text>
I made nothing up. Read the articles about the trial. You will see that the police were there earlier in the evening and he even made threats then.
Harrigan, who lived a couple doors down at 13799 Blue Ridge Ave., complained about the noise, and asked the family to quiet down and go inside. "He said his baby was trying to sleep," James testified.
Steven "yelled back, something along the lines of,'mind your own business,'" according to Nathan.
The two men began to "exchange words" in front of Harrigan's house, according to testimony. Wetzel was telling Harrigan to join him in the street and fight, and Harrigan was trying to get Wetzel to come into his yard, James testified.
She said the confrontation lasted about 40 minutes. "They were just yelling back and forth," James said.
Nathan Wetzel said he approached his father and began talking to him, "trying to diffuse the situation and get my father to come back down before the police were called." He was eventually successful.
By this time, Chad Wetzel had already gone home with his mother and girlfriend. Shortly after the confrontation ended, two Washington Township Police officers arrived and asked to speak with Steven Wetzel. "He was still upset, but not loud and screaming, that I can remember," Nathan testified.
James said she heard Steven tell the police that he was going to "kick (Harrigan's)****," and that he would do the same to any police officer who tried to stop him.
The officers told Wetzel to leave his neighbor alone, and eventually left. Afterwards, Nathan, Steven and James drove to a convenience store in Smithsburg, Md., to buy cigarettes, according to testimony.
Where are the threats against harrigans family, as I said your making stuff up.
imt

Hagerstown, MD

#58 Feb 12, 2011
cletus slack jawed yocal wrote:
<quoted text>
Where are the threats against harrigans family, as I said your making stuff up.
It's obvious that IF you read the testimony you didn't understand it. I made nothing up.
JustForYouCletus

Frederick, MD

#59 Feb 12, 2011
"Where are the threats against harrigans family, as I said your making stuff up."

You're a fool. Read all the articles, for God's sake. Man, you make yourself look like an idiot.
Rock Hoover

Chambersburg, PA

#60 Feb 12, 2011
Tara wrote:
<quoted text>
Amanda.....I got your back on this girl....didnt know Steve but I know his one son Nate and whatever Steve did with his boys that niht is soooooooooooooo completely irrelevant it is insane...No one is perfect. and you are correct people lost a loved one no matter what kinda man he was or how he acted...bottom line IS STEVE WEZTEL AND HIS FAMILY ARE THE TRUE VICTIMS HERE
Have you ever served prison time with any of the Wetzel clan?
iat

Frostburg, MD

#61 Feb 14, 2011
JustForYouCletus wrote:
"Where are the threats against harrigans family, as I said your making stuff up."
You're a fool. Read all the articles, for God's sake. Man, you make yourself look like an idiot.
http://www.publicopiniononline.com/ci_1734620...

Wetzel allegedly asked him why he had the gun, and challenged him to join him in the road and "fight like a man."

"I said,'the gun is because you are scaring the (expletive) out of us and we don't want any trouble,'

******"Harrigan told the jury. He said Wetzel continued to yell things at him. At one point, "he implied a threat of rape," he said.

Harrigan testified that Wetzel told him, "I fight to the death and I (expletive) to the finish. You're going to learn that."*****

Harrigan said the exchange lasted "one or two minutes at the most." He said he couldn't remember everything Wetzel said and that some of it was unintelligible.

"Shoot me. Shoot me,(expletive)," Harrigan testified that Wetzel said to him. "One of us is going to die tonight."



Unable to sleep, Marta sat on the couch in the living room after her husband went to the basement, she testified. When she heard Wetzel's voice outside, she grabbed the phone.

"As soon as I heard,'what the (expletive) Mike?' I called 911," she said.

On Tuesday the jury heard a recording of the call. It included the sound of a shotgun blast, followed immediately by Marta becoming hysterical.

"I immediately thought Steve shot Mike," she said Wednesday. "I immediately thought Mike was dead."

Harrigan told the jury that Wetzel tore a bandana and sunglasses off his head and threw them to the ground. He said Wetzel's arms swung down and his hands went out of view behind his back. The man took "several" steps forward before the blast knocked him down, he said.

**Do you consider that a threat or not? I do.

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