Butler County wife accused in husband’s shooting death seeks insanity defense

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A Butler County woman accused of shooting and killing her husband this month is pursuing an insanity defense.

Pamela S. Harville, 65, faces charges of aggravated murder and two alternate counts of murder in the shooting death of her husband, David, on April 2 in their home on Millville-Oxford Road. She also is charged with two counts of felonious assault.

In an appearance Thursday before Butler County Common Pleas Judge Dan Haughey, Harville was rolled into the courtroom in a wheelchair, wearing a green jumpsuit and handcuffs.

Defense attorney Dan Allnut, a public defender, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity based on his preliminary review of the case. He asked the court to schedule an examination at the cost of the state.

Haughey said competency evaluations take about 6 weeks for the examination and the report to be generated. He said the court’s practice in which incompetency is raised that the defendant is held without bond, and no bond hearing will be held until officials have determined if she is competent.

The judge set a hearing to discuss Harville’s competency for 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 21.

Allnut said he had not been able to get information from the defendant for the financial disclosure form to determine if she would qualify for public defender services. The judge said Allnut would represent Harville until that information is reviewed.

Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser and Mike Hon, assistant prosecutor, represented the state’s case.

Deputies arrested Harville about 5 hours after they found her husband dead in their home about 8:40 p.m. He had been shot multiple times in the body and head, court records and officials said.

In an earlier court appearance, Harville became ill and was taken from the courtroom by emergency medical workers before her hearing began.

Deputies responded to the Harville house because a caller said the couple had not been heard from for a while.