Police: Woman Lied, Estranged Husband Did Not Try to Shoot Her

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TAYLOR, Pa. -- Police in Lackawanna County say a woman made a false claim about her estranged husband attempting to shoot her.

Loretta Simonson denies making up a fake story about her estranged husband's plot to kill her, just a couple of hours after police say she admitted to staging a crime scene and lying to authorities.

"We get cases where people lie here and there, but of this magnitude, I've never been involved in something like this," said Taylor Police Chief Stephen Derenick.

Wednesday night police charged Charlie Simonson with attempted murder after his estranged wife said he tried to shoot her while she was sleeping.

Officers say evidence at the crime scene matched up perfectly with Loretta's story but something wasn't sitting right with the sergeant on the case.

"When he usually gets some type of feeling in the pit of his stomach, you usually run with it," said Derenick.

So they did more interviews with neighbors and found out Loretta was in possession of the gun allegedly used in the staged shooting and gave it away to an unsuspecting neighbor.

"Mrs. Simonson called her over to the home and indicated she was giving things away, would she want anything and the shotgun was in the corner of the room and the neighbor took it," said Judy Price, Lackawanna County First District Attorney.

After that police brought Loretta in for more questioning.

Loretta admitted to firing the gun in the bedroom and lying to authorities about her husband's involvement.

Turns out, he wasn't even home at the time.

"It was staged. There was no if's and's or but's about it," said Derenick.

Charges against her estranged husband have been dropped and Loretta is now facing several charges including, making a false report and recklessly endangering another person.

Newswatch 16 spoke to a handful of neighbors off camera and they all said that Charlie is exactly the kind of person you'd want as a neighbor, but Loretta, wasn't quite as friendly.

"To have this all staged and I don't know if it's just a hatred for her husband or why she would do this. We don't know," said Derenick.

Charlie Simonson is out of jail. Loretta, however, is locked up in Lackawanna County jail on $10,000 bail.

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