A 59-year-old Pennsylvania man was charged with homicide on Sunday after he allegedly shot his long-time friend over a plate of food.
James Buterbaugh was taken into custody by state police in Indiana County after he allegedly shot his neighbor, 51-year-old David Ackerson, in Grant Township around 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Buterbaugh told police he and Ackerson had been drinking early Sunday in his pickup truck. Then Ackerson left for church and Buterbaugh fell asleep in the truck.
Ackerson returned later with two plates of food for both of them. The food was had been prepared by Buterbaugh's mother, Donna Lee Buterbaugh.
“James Buterbaugh related that he became angry with Ackerson because Ackerson always ‘mooches' off people,” Trooper Scott Mackanick wrote, according to WTAE.
That is when Buterbaugh drove off. Ackerson followed.
“Buterbaugh related that he told him to leave him alone and leave or he was going to shoot Ackerson,” Mackanick wrote in the complaint.
Ackerson reportedly said, "Go ahead and shoot me," and Buterbaugh did. Afterwards he dialed 911 to report the shooting.
"You want to talk about a senseless killing? A plate of food. The defendant alleged that the victim had been mooching food from his mother and that upset him," said Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty. "The ironic thing was she made a plate of food for the defendant and one for the victim, for some reason that didn't sit well with the defendant."
Buterbaugh is being held in Indiana County Jail without bond.
"My understanding is that they were friends and they would drive places together and he would help out, the victim would help out, so I think this is really a big surprise," Dougherty said.