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Punxsutawney man charged in slaying, dismemberment

by on September 18, 2013 11:00 AM

PUNXSUTAWNEY — A Punxsutawney man littered the countryside of Jefferson and Indiana counties with the dismembered limbs and body parts of a man he killed during a drug deal, authorities reported Tuesday.

Investigators found Michael Shugars’s fingerprints on body parts found by a fisherman Sunday afternoon in a creek under the Hamilton Bridge in Perry Township, and obtained Shugars’ confession to the slaying of Chet Haddow, of Punxsutawney, according to charging documents filed in the Punxsutawney district court.

Shugars, 32, is being held without bond in Jefferson County Court in Brookville, charged with homicide, robbery and related counts.

The case came to light about 4:54 p.m. Sunday when the fisherman phoned 911 and state police, saying he spotted two human arms and a thigh in the creek. Jefferson County Coroner Bernard Snyder identified the body parts as human remains, police reported.

Within hours, forensic investigators lifted fingerprints from the hands and cross-checked them through a national crime database and the FBI, which matched the prints with those on record for Shugars, troopers said.

On Monday, troopers quizzed Shugars, who admitted that he met with Haddow in Valier, rode with him in Haddow’s car to Fan House Road, where Shugars drew a 9 mm handgun.

Shugars said the gun fired and killed Haddow while they struggled over it, according to a criminal complaint.

According to investigators, Shugars admitted that he left Haddow alone in his car on Blose Hollow Road for a time Friday evening, then returned after dark and drove Haddow’s car to his own home along Kathryn Drive.

There, police say, Shugars cut Haddow’s body apart with a chain saw then disposed of the parts at various remote locations — some in waterways, some over embankments — in Indiana and Jefferson counties.

After taking a suboxone pill and two bags of heroin from Haddow’s car, Shugars drove to a gas well site near Blose Hollow Road, poured gasoline in the vehicle and set it on fire along with his own soiled clothing.

In the criminal complaint, police reported the drugs stolen from Haddow were worth $60.

Shugars is charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault, abuse of corpse, robbery and theft. He was booked at a preliminary arraignment Tuesday morning and is scheduled to appear Oct. 1 for a preliminary hearing before District Judge Douglas Chambers in Punxsutawney District Court.



Chauncey Ross is the Gazette’s fixture at Indiana Area and Homer-Center school board meetings, has been seen with pen and notepad in area police stations and courts, and is something of an Open Records Act and Sunshine Law advocate. He also manages the Gazette’s websites and answers your questions about them.
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