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Coroner: Victim died from blunt force trauma from deer antler trophy, other objects

By Jamie Stover, Reporter, JStover@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 28 2014 10:58:54 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 30 2014 05:35:57 AM CDT

Schuylkill murder investigation

WEST MAHANOY TWP., Pa. -

Police in Schuylkill County are investigating an apparent homicide.

According to the Schuylkill County coroner's office, the victim, David Halaburda, 50, died of blunt force head and neck injuries.

According to the coroner. multiple objects may have been used against Halaburda, including a deer antler trophy.

The toxicology results from Halaburda's autopsy are pending testing for bath salts.

West Mahanoy Township police said they were called to the 200 block of Wylam Street after a disturbance call around 8 a.m. Monday.

Police said that call led them to finding Halaburda's body inside the home.

According to police, Thomas Petrousky, 54, was in the middle of the street when they arrived.

Petrousky was taken to the Shenendoah Police Department on Monday. 

As police escorted Petrousky into the cruiser to leave the department, he was mumbling incoherently. 

Police said they were taking the Frackville man to Schuylkill Medical Center South to be medically cleared for his arraignment.

According to court documents, Petrousky was cited with harassment after he allegedly punched Halaburda in the head.

One neighbor told 69 News that both men lived in the home.

Neighbors told 69 News police were at that same home Sunday night.

Suspect's actions had neighbors on alert

Police said Petrousky allegedly punched a neighbor Monday. He was charged with simple assault and resisting arrest.

Police said he was also taken into custody in connection with the apparent homicide investigation.

Tabbitha McCormick said she heard screaming outside her home Monday morning.

McCormick said she walked outside to find the man who was later taken into custody involved in a fight with her boyfriend.

"He came over saying he wants my boyfriend to shoot his dog in the head while he shoots our dog in the head. He proceed to come on our porch and punched my boyfriend in the face," McCormick said.  "I called the cops.  He kept threatening to kick my boyfriend off of our porch. He took my mailbox and put it in the middle of the street and told my boyfriend he was going to put him in there."

McCormick said the man was wobbling and hunched over.

Petrousky now faces charges of resisting arrest, recklessly endangering another person, simple assault, harassment, and criminal mischief.

There's no word if additional charges will be filed against him.