Former Deputy Coroner's trial begins - abc27 WHTM

Cumberland County

Former Deputy Coroner's trial begins

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The case for a former Cumberland County Deputy Coroner, who faces several charges stemming from an April 2011 stand-off with police, started on Monday.

Barry Horn Jr. allegedly shot several rounds at responding officers at a home on Mandy Lane in Hampden Township.  By the time SWAT team members entered the house, he was passed out. 

His lawyer, Paul Orr, said Horn had taken too much psychiatric medication that night.  He said Horn had mental issues, but those issues were made worse two weeks prior to the incident when he was fired by former Coroner Todd Eckenrode.

"Things were going well until he, in essence, reported to the State Attorney General's Office that the ex-coroner was stealing medication, and he was a confidential informant for them at the time," Orr said.

Last year, Todd Eckenrode did plead guilty to charges that he stole drugs from death investigations.

Monday morning a jury was selected to hear Horn's trial, and by the afternoon, opening arguments were heard.

Prosecutors told the court that the case comes down to two things, the safety of the police officers on the job and the safety of the community to walk around an go about their business.

Monday afternoon, Patrolman Brandon Stolley with Hampden Township Police testified.  He is a veteran of the Marine Corps, and served in Iraq.  He was also on the scene when Horn was shooting.  On the stand, he talked about what it was like as bullets were being shot in his direction.  "I have never felt like that, these are coming right for me.  I was scared to death," he said.

The case will continue Tuesday morning in Cumberland County Court.

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