A murder suspect initially played dumb about how his wife died in their kitchen, but he eventually admitted he was the person who beat her to death, according to cops in Lower Pottsgrove Township, Pennsylvania.
Barton Seltmann, 84, faces a count each of first- and third-degree murder.
Authorities said they received a 911 call from Seltmann on Tuesday, according to Montgomery County prosecutors’ press statement and an affidavit obtained by reporter Steve Keeley of Philadelphia Fox affiliate WTXF.
Seltman reportedly said he believed his wife, Margaret Seltmann, 85, to be dead and that someone beat her. He described the kitchen as ransacked, and his wife had been bleeding from the head. Police construed his statements as him pretending that he did not know what happened to her.
2/2 Margaret & Barton Seltmann “were arguing about money & veterinarian bill for the treatment of their cat when the arguing & fight turned physical.” Montgomery County District Attorney says. pic.twitter.com/ogLWphe7Lv
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) November 29, 2023
Officers said they arrived to find Seltmann on the rear porch. He allegedly had blood on his hands, face, and clothes. They discovered Margaret in the home, dead. Cops claimed to find a small black-handled kitchen knife under the victim’s body. Authorities also claimed to find shards of glass from a broken candle jar.
Seltmann ultimately told paramedics he hurt his wife during a fight, the affidavit said.
He allegedly claimed his wife had grabbed a knife while they were arguing about the money for their cat’s veterinarian care.
“Barton stated his wife told him that she was going to kill him,” cops said. “Barton stated he grabbed a 4-legged chair and pushed the legs of the chair into his wife. Barton stated his wife fell back, striking her head resulting in her falling to the ground.”
He allegedly said he did not see any knife in her hand, but he continued to punch her, and he used a candleholder that he described as “china” to beat her in the head.
“At one point, Barton stated his wife stated, ‘You’re killing me,’ and at some point she, ‘went to sleep.’”
Seltmann is held without bond at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. He faces a preliminary hearing on Dec. 5.
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