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Homicide trial to begin for area man

by The Indiana Gazette on April 23, 2013 11:01 AM

A trial was scheduled to begin this morning for Shaun Fairman, a northern Indiana County man facing homicide and related charges stemming from a deadly domestic confrontation almost one year ago at the home of his estranged wife.

Fairman, 33, is charged with criminal homicide for the shooting death of his father-in-law, Richard Shotts, of Sagamore Road, Armstrong County. Police also charged him with burglary, receiving stolen property and two counts of aggravated assault.

Attorneys selected a panel of jurors and alternates late Monday afternoon. Judge William Martin said the trial is expected to last until Friday.

Assistant District Attorneys Pamela Miller and Matthew Ross are prosecuting the case. Chief public defender Donald McKee and attorney Robert Dougherty are representing Fairman.

Authorities said Fairman had moved to Washington Township after his wife, Jessica, obtained a protection order and filed divorce proceedings against him.

Out of concern that Shaun Fairman might return to the house and cause problems, Jessica Fairman’s parents stayed nights with her at the home.

The Fairmans lived along Route 210 in North Mahoning Township, between Trade City and Smicksburg.

State police charged that Fairman armed himself with a rifle and a stolen handgun and drove to the home just after midnight June 3, got into an argument with Shotts, and shot him once in the neck with a handgun.

Shotts, 55, died of his wound at the scene.

Fairman was captured in the house after Jessica Fairman shot and wounded him in a second-floor bedroom.

In pre-trial filings, the Fairman’s attorneys indicated they would present a defense of mental infirmity.

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