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Police and the Sullivan County District Attorney say a Mountaindale man intentionally shot his wife to death on Sunday night. Our Eva McKend has more on the charges and the response from neighbors in that small community.
MOUNTAINDALE, N.Y. -- It's the first alleged murder of the year in Sullivan County.
"It's strange that it happened here in Mountaindale. Nothing ever happens here," said Mountaindale resident Alan Johnston.
Police say Renee Oefelin died Sunday night of a single gunshot to the head and that her husband, Kevin, pulled the trigger.
Kevin, 57, and Renee, 54, have been residents on Post Hill Road for two years and have three grown children.
"I saw the police out there and the yellow tape, didn't know what had happened at that point. I didn't find out until later that somebody shot their wife supposedly by accident," said Johnston.
Neighbors in the otherwise quiet Fallsburg hamlet are shaken by the news.
"They came over to ask for a barbecue about a week ago. There was a couple arguments we heard a couple of times at night, but I didn't expect something like that to happen," said Dylan Vazquez, who lives with family directly across the street from 51 Post Hill Road.
In the 911 call, the Town of Fallsburg police responded to, the incident was reported as an accident. It's a claim officials don't believe.
"The decision was made after the results of the autopsy were received and our forensic analysis of the scene were received and based upon that, we have probable cause to believe that the defendant committed a murder in the second degree," said Sullivan County District Attorney James Farrell.
Oefelin was found with two guns. In addition to murder, he's charged with criminal possession of a firearm.
The DA says he believes Oefelin shot his wife with a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next Monday in the Town of Fallsburg court for 4:30 p.m.