An 84-year-old Pennsylvania man is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 85-year-old wife in Montgomery County, according to reports.
The district attorney’s office says the suspect, Barton Seltmann, called 911 on Tuesday afternoon to report his wife was unresponsive.
Officers arrived to find Barton Seltmann on the rear porch of his home on the 1900 block of North Keim Street with blood on his hands, face, and clothing. The body of his wife, Margaret Seltmann, was found inside the home.
According to investigators, the Seltmanns were arguing about money for the veterinary care of their cat when the fight turned physical.
According to the police affidavit, Barton Seltmann told officers that his wife had grabbed a knife and threatened to kill him, so he used a chair to push her down. Barton Seltmann allegedly told officers he then no longer saw a knife in his wife’s hand but continued to strike her in the head with his fist and a candleholder while she was on the ground.
Broken glass pieces of the candleholder were found at the scene, police said, and a small, black-handled knife was found under Margaret Seltmann’s body.
Barton Seltmann is being held without bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 5.
Members of the Seltmann family told Action News they are at a loss for words after hearing about this incident.
“There was no warning that this kind of thing could happen. None,” said brother Ron Seltmann. “This just tore us apart.”
Other members of the family say Barton Seltmann may have been dealing with memory loss issues.
“In the last five or six weeks, Margaret said he (Barton Seltmann) was suffering from dementia, he wasn’t remembering things,” said sister-in-law Sandy Seltmann. “Like if he went somewhere, he wasn’t remembering where he was at and things and she was concerned about it.”
Ron Seltmann said the couple seemed happy and had been married for over 30 years.
He also said the couple spent their life on Keim Street surrounded by family, where Barton Seltmann built their home from scratch.