Selinsgrove man convicted of first-degree murder in fatal shooting of estranged wife

Mar. 15—MIDDLEBURG — Brad A. Bailor was convicted Thursday in Snyder County Court of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his estranged wife nearly two years ago.

The 1 1/2-day bench trial ended at noon Thursday with Senior Judge Harold F. Woelfel Jr. announcing the verdict shortly after closing arguments from District Attorney Heath Brosius and defense attorney Jasmine Smith.

Bailor, 35, of Selinsgrove, was also convicted of third-degree murder and possession of instruments of a crime for the April 18 shooting of Leslie M. Bailor, 33, in their South Market Street home in Penn Township.

Sentencing will be held at a later date. First-degree murder carries a mandatory life without parole sentence.

Leslie Bailor's twin sister, Alysha Hannon, and mother, Nadine Hannon, of South Carolina, embraced following the verdict.

"I just wanted justice for my daughter," the elder Hannon said, choking back tears. "She deserved that."

Several state police officers testified that Brad Bailor admitted shooting his estranged wife following a brief argument. A videotaped police interview included Bailor's repeated admission.

Bailor did not testify, but in his statements to police he admitted moving the 9mm pistol used in the shooting back to the house and in a bedroom dresser two days before the slaying.

An autopsy determined Leslie Bailor, the mother of five, died from four gunshot wounds.

On Thursday, Brad Bailor's parents, Mark Bailor, of Richfield, and Jane Hubbert, of Millmont, testified about the rocky marriage their son had with Leslie Bailor and his need of medication for mental health issues, including a bipolar condition.

In closing arguments, Smith, who represented Bailor with attorney Brian Ulmer, said the defense was not contesting Brad Bailor fired the fatal shots, but said he did not mean to kill and should be acquitted of first-degree murder.

Instead, she said, he had run out of medication for his mental health issues and was in a volatile marriage that was becoming "a little more dangerous" as both Bailors were in relationships with other people and were acting more aggressively toward one another.

Following the shooting, Smith said, Brad Bailor's concern was for his wife and getting her medical attention.

Brosius argued that Bailor's own statements, including that he "was afraid this was going to happen," and his unwillingness to immediately comply with police that stalled the arrival of first-responders to his dying wife's aid, showed intent to kill.

The prosecutor also argued a diminished capacity defense was not admissible since no testimony was given regarding Bailor's alleged mental health issues.