The Perry County man accused of homicide in the death of his 12-year-old daughter last January lied to obtain guns despite a mental health commitment that should have precluded him from obtaining them, police said.
A dozen weapons offenses were added to the list of charges filed against Donald Meyer Jr., the man charged with homicide in the January death of his 12-year-old daughter, Ciara Meyer.
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Meyer, 58, is accused of having pointed a rifle at the chest of a constable who came to evict his family Jan. 11 from their Penn Township apartment. Constable Clark Steele fired in self-defense, officials maintain, and the bullet passed through Donald Meyer’s arm and struck Ciara Meyer in the heart.
On Sept. 21, Trooper Donald Chewning filed six counts each of sale or transfer of firearms charges and unsworn falsification to authorities against Meyer.
Between Oct. 1, 2012 and May 7, 2015, Meyer purchased five firearms and made one application to retrieve a weapon he had place on consignment, Chewning states in court records.
Meyer had been involuntary committed Nov. 27, 2011, to mental health facility under the Pa. Mental Health Act, Section 302, Chewning said. The commitment came after he was accused of threatening to kill himself and his family, records state.
Despite that commitment, Meyer purchased firearms and made false statements on forms at gun shops in Dauphin and Lancaster counties, Chewning said.
Meyer said “no” to the question on the forms asking whether he had been subject to an involuntary mental health commitment after 2011, Chewning said.
Meyer is accused of purchasing these firearms:
At Gander Mountain in Lower Paxton Township:
- Sig Saur .22 and Bersa Thunder .38 automatic pistol Oct. 1, 2012.
- Sturm Ruger .22 revolver April 13, 2013.
At OD Tactical in Swatara Township:
- IWI Tavor SAR .223 rifle Sept. 21, 2013.
At Trop Gun Shop in West Donegal Township:
- Colt M4 carbine .223 rifle Sept. 27, 2012.
At Reeser’s Gunsmithing and Gun Shop in Reed Township:
- IWI Tavor SAR .223 rifle he had placed on consignment, pickup up May 7, 2015.
The Lancaster county gun shop incident was waived to Dauphin County.
Meyer awaits trial in Perry county on homicide and charges including persons not to possess firearms under provisions of the Mental Health Procedures Act, endangering the welfare of children, two counts of aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats and reckless endangerment.
A psychiatric evaluation was ordered for Meyer in August by Perry County Judge Kathy Morrow to determine whether he is competent to stand trial. He remains in Perry County prison without bail, and his next court date is scheduled for Thursday.
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