Suspect waives hearing in dismemberment case
PUNXSUTAWNEY — A Jefferson County man agreed Tuesday to stand trial in the county court on charges that he murdered an acquaintance during a drug deal, then cut the victim’s body apart with a chainsaw.
Michael Shugars, 32, of Punxsutawney, waived his right to a preliminary hearing in the Punxsutawney district court.
He faces 14 charges stemming from the Sept. 13 slaying of Chet Haddow along a back road just north of the Indiana County line in Perry Township.
In a criminal complaint, state police reported Shugars confessed to the killing after investigators found his fingerprints on Haddow’s hands.
Neither Shugars’ defense attorney, John Ingros, of Punxsutawney, nor Jefferson County District Attorney Jeffrey Burkett could be reached for comment this morning.
Investigators recovered Haddow’s body parts from several ravines and waterways in Jefferson and Indiana counties, after a fisherman discovered dismembered arms and a thigh on Sept. 15 in a creek under the Hamilton Bridge in Perry Township.
Shugars told police that he arranged with Haddow to sell drugs to him on Sept. 13 in the Valier area, then drove with Haddow to Fan House Road. Shugars drew a handgun and told police that it discharged when Haddow struggled with him to grab the gun.
According to investigators, Shugars confessed that he took Haddow’s body to his home along Kathryn Drive, cut it apart with a chainsaw and disposed of the body parts.
In an amended criminal complaint, police charged Shugars with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, abuse of a corpse, simple assault, reckless burning, possession of incendiary materials, unauthorized use of a vehicle, kidnapping, burglary, criminal trespass, tampering with evidence and two counts of theft.
Shugars has been held without bail at the Jefferson County jail in Brookville since his arrest on Sept. 17.