STROUDSBURG — A judge ordered Rockne Newell to stand trial in the shooting deaths of three people at a Ross Township supervisor’s meeting in August.
The recording captured what happened inside. You heard gunfire erupt, people screaming, silence, someone yelling “he’s coming back,” Newell yelling “they stole my land,” more gunfire, and a struggle as people tackled Newell and took away his gun.
Monroe County District Attorney David Christine had a hard time talking about that piece of evidence.
“We’ll just say it was a trying day because what you heard in there was very emotional.”
But Rockne Newell’s father wasn’t as emotional.
“I don’t feel like he’s a murderer. They just pressed him. They pushed him he snapped,” said Pete Newell.
During the hearing, several witnesses testified that Rockne kept saying the township supervisors “stole his land.”
Police say Newell was upset with the supervisors because the township recently condemned his property near Saylorsburg and then bought it at a sheriff’s sale.
“I wouldn’t say I’m justifying what he did, I’m justifying the way they pushed him. For 22 years they hounded him,” Pete Newell said.
There was a massive security force in place at the courthouse.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Rockne Newell.