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Homicide charge against father, who killed son, withdrawn

By Jamie Stover, Reporter, JStover@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 01:48:06 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 05 2013 10:37:10 AM CST

Man with dementia won't face charge in shooting death of son.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Charges have been dropped in an Allentown homicide case.

Eighty-seven-year-old Roy Tarboro was charged with homicide after shooting and killing his son Rickey Tarboro last October.

"A very tragic case that occurred just about a year ago on October 29, 2012-- ironically, on the night Hurricane Sandy came through," said Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin.

"A night I don't like to remember. It was a horrible night. I miss him terribly. I miss him terribly," said Sharol Kistler, Rickey's girlfriend.

Almost exactly a year later, Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin decided to drop the charge.

"Given the fact he is an 87-year-old man, no criminal record, worked his entire life at Bethlehem Steel, a veteran. I felt it appropriate to exercise discretion and not press the charges," Martin said.

Martin said Roy Tarboro suffers from dementia and believed someone was breaking into his house on East Allen Street the night of the shooting.

Sharol Kistler knows the man she loved for 20 years would forgive his father.

"He would probably say forgive him, just forgive my father, because he wasn't right with dementia and all you know," Kistler said.

Time may soften her heart, but right now, Kistler is still grieving.

"I know the man needs help. Roy needs help. But I am so upset about it because he killed someone, the man I loved and he's just going to get away with it," Kistler said.

Kistler has packed away most reminders of Rickey, but she still keeps a few photos of him in her wallet.

"We kind of fell in love right away. I loved his children. He had three boys," Kistler said.

One thing she'll never forget is what happened that night.

"I heard a gun shot again, and then Rickey didn't come back for a while.  I figured he was talking with him. I went over and Rickey was laying on the ground," Kistler said.

Or how lucky she was to have him for a partner.

"He was the greatest man in the world. Did anything for anyone. He was the greatest and I loved him dearly," Kistler said.

In a press release, Martin said that Roy Tarboro is currently in a supervised setting at a nursing home.