Authorities: Victim recorded Schuykill shotgun slaying

Warning: this story contains language not appropriate for minors — we only include it because of the specific nature of the story and the circumstances.


Keith Smith

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

SCHUYLKILL — A man is charged with shooting his girlfriend to death as she recorded the grisly, shotgun slaying on her phone, before he turned the gun on himself, trying, but failing to commit suicide.

First Degree Murder charges were filed Wednesday against Keith Smith in the death of his girlfriend Wesley Webb, who died after being shot in the chest, May 2 at the couple’s township home. Making the matters worse, authorities said, was the fact that three children under the age of 14 were in the home at the time.

This was a savage, selfish, and cowardly murder,” Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said. “The defendant did not hesitate to kill  his girlfriend.  But he flinched when it came to killing himself.  Now, the victim is dead, the defendant is alive, and three kids have been badly traumatized.

Police said Smith and Webb were in the middle of an argument when things escalated quickly with tragic results. Webb reportedly told Smith that she planned to leave with two of the children, but the argument continued in the living room of the home. 

Smith, authorities said, pulled out a single-shot, 12-gauge shot gun and fired on Webb, striking her in the chest, as she sat on the couch. Chillingly, investigators say they discovered a phone that recorded the entire event.

Warning: extreme language follows:

“You want to record it now, bitch?”  Then, police said, there is the sound of the defendant shooting the victim. After shooting her, Smith then said to Webb’s now lifeless body: “Fuck you! How’s that. That’s where we just went.”

On hearing the gunshots, the children came downstairs and immediately called 911, with township police the first responders on the scene.

The killing is stunning for the quiet township, the first homicide there in recent memory.

“Schuylkill Township has not had a homicide in decades,” Schuylkill Township Police Chief James Fetterman said. “We are a safe community, making this crime jarring for our township. However, our police, the Chester County Detectives, and neighboring jurisdictions did an outstanding job of responding rapidly to a chaotic scene and conducting a thorough investigation.”

Until 2012, under the state’s wiretap law, the recording would not have been admissible during Smith’s trial, Hogan said.

“This case is a tragic example of technology and the law catching up to criminals,” he said. “Until 2012 in Pennsylvania, a victim’s recording of her own murder would have been inadmissible under the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act. This law was changed in 2012, fixing a glaring omission. But that is slight solace for the children and family of the victim in this case.

Smith faces charges of first degree murder, third degree murder, possessing  an instrument  of crime, and endangering the welfare of children. He remains hospitalized for his gunshot wound, but will be transported to Chester County Prison upon his medical clearance. He is not eligible for bail.



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One Comment

  1. Fubar says:

    What I find most pertinent in this article, other than the statement of combining of opioids, is that the guy plead not guilty by insanity. This lawsuit is obviously an attempt to deflect the guilt of the murderer. Shame on you, lawyer!

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