Authorities say a bail bondsman fatally shot a wanted man inside a Nanticoke home after showing up to take him into custody on a court-ordered arrest warrant, reported The Citizen's Voice.
City police identified the man as 26-year-old Thomas Worthy
Painter had been scheduled for a bail revocation hearing
Friday in Luzerne County Court following a sixth arrest since April, most
involving drug charges.
Police said the preliminary investigation revealed Painter
pulled a gun on the bondsman, who responded by shooting Painter in the abdomen
inside 83 Fairview Drive, which is located in a cul de sac neighborhood in the
city’s Hanover section.
Painter was taken to Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre for
treatment, but died of his injuries, Nanticoke police said.
Investigators said the bondsman, who was not identified, is
cooperating and agreed to be interviewed by police.
Three other people were inside the home at the time gunfire
broke out and were also interviewed, investigators said.
“Obviously, it’s very early on. We don’t know what the
subject of those statements will be. That’s part of the investigation,” Luzerne
County First Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce said.
Painter’s defense attorney, Larry Kansky, said the incident
was a “tragedy” that didn’t need to happen.
“It’s sad a young person’s life had to end when most likely
it would have been resolved,” Kansky said. “We were all set for the hearing
Kansky said his client, who had drug problems, probably
feared he was heading back to jail, but he thinks he would have been able to
convince the court to keep him free with home confinement or electronic ankle
Kansky said Painter lived with his grandmother at the
Fairview Drive house and she put up her house as collateral for Painter’s bail
with AA Bail Bonds in Wilkes-Barre.
“If he absconded, she would lose her house,” Kansky said.
Kansky said he learned Painter had called the bail bonds
company asking that his grandmother no longer be held responsible for his bail,
prompting the visit by the bondsman to take Painter into custody for Friday’s
“Did that mean he was going to run? Or refuse to go to the
hearing? Or did he want suicide by bail bondsman? I don’t know. That’s
something the district attorney’s office is going to have to investigate,”
A representative who answered the phone at AA Bail Bonds
said the company did bail out Painter, but she had no further information.
Records show Painter has a lengthy criminal history and was
out on bail on six open criminal cases in Luzerne County since April, including
one from August in which he swam across the Susquehanna River following a
hit-and-run crash in Plymouth only to be arrested by awaiting police when he
reached the opposite shoreline in Hanover Twp.
County prosecutors had previously moved to revoke Painter’s
bail, which authorities say prompted the efforts to take him into custody to
ensure his appearance at Friday’s bail revocation hearing.
Sanguedolce said it is commonplace for bail bondsmen to be
tasked with taking a defendant into custody when the person is subject to their
Thursday’s incident occurred around 2 p.m. inside 83
Sanguedolce said the bondsman was “invited into the
“As he entered, he tried to take the individual into
custody,” Sanguedolce said. “The individual pulled a weapon on the bondsman,
who responded with gunfire and struck the individual.”
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