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No charges filed in fatal shooting of intruder, officials say

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:42:35 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 29 2013 05:34:34 PM CDT

The Schuylkill County District Attorney says she spent a lot of sleepless nights this week deciding the fate of homeowner Curt Stein after he fatally shot an 18-year old intruder last Saturday.

FRACKVILLE, Pa. -

The District Attorney says she spent a lot of sleepless nights this week deciding the fate of homeowner Curt Stein after he fatally shot an 18-year old intruder last Saturday. But in the end she decided his actions were justifiable.

State Police responded to the scene of a home invasion on Saturday, August 24th to find the 18-year old intruder, Zachary Foster, dead. Police say the homeowner, Curt Stein, shot Foster more than once during an altercation in the home. For the last week the Schuylkill County District Attorney has been trying to decide if the shooting was justifiable.

"We have been discussing this case since the moment it happened. We have slept very little because of the tremendous amount of emotions that have been dealt with by the families," said Schuylkill County District Attorney Karen Byrnes-Noon.

Police say Stein shot Foster more than once to end the fight. But they are unsure if Foster was using a weapon.

"There was a pocket knife recovered in the area where the altercation occurred. Whether or not Mr. Foster had that out at the time is unknown," said PA State Trooper John Powis.

The DA says she reviewed interviews at the scene, looked over the collection of evidence, footage from the home security system, listened to the 911 tape and looked at numerous photographs. In the end they decided not to charge the homeowner.
"Our thoughts go out to the families who have dealt with this tragic incident," said Byrnes-Noon.

Zachary Foster's father said it is a tragedy for both families. There is a viewing for Foster Thursday followed by a funeral Friday.