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News Article
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Hereford Shooting Suspect Caught in Florida
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

          A Hereford man accused of shooting a 13-year-old boy inside a Washington Township home on Friday was apprehended Sunday in Melbourne, Fla.

          Brevard County's specialized fugitive unit took Matthew Allen Hale, 19,

of 49 Ashford Lane, into custody near a condominium complex at 8:30 p.m. April 16, according to Tod Goodyear, the public information officer with the Brevard County Sherriff's Office.

          Hale's extradition to Pennsylvania – to face charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm without a license and illegal possession of a weapon – could be delayed because the defendant faces three drug charges in Florida.

          On April 14, Hale allegedly shot a 13-year-old boy multiple times through a window of a home on Stauffer Road in Washington Township. The boy, who sustained multiple gunshot wounds, was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital, according to information provided by Trooper David Boehm.

          The boy and two of his friends, who were in the boy's bedroom, saw a small black hatchback pull into the driveway around 7 p.m., according to the state police. Hale, yelling obscenities, came up to an open window and punched in the screen, police said.

          The boy's two friends ran from the room and heard loud bangs and gunshots; then they heard the boy screaming, according to authorities. Hale was seen getting into the black hatchback, which turned right out of the driveway and drove toward Route 100.

          Hale was by himself when Florida officials took him into custody, according to Goodyear. 

          Local authorities have yet to identify the female driver of the hatchback, Boehm said.

          "That's all part of the investigation," he added on Monday afternoon.

          Initially, Brevard County law enforcement officials descended Sunday night on a residence, using information from the Pennsylvania State Police, as a possible location for the suspect, Goodyear said. Although he wasn't at that address, police located Hale a few minutes later in a similar area of the county.

          Authorities in the state took Hale into custody on a warrant from Berks County, then charged him locally following a search, according to Goodyear.

          Police found a plastic baggie containing about 1 gram of suspected marijuana during a search of Hale. Inside a gray backpack that Hale had in his possession, law enforcement officials located $30,480 packaged in clear plastic zip lock baggies broken down mostly into $1,000 increments as well as one clear plastic baggie containing seven rubber containers filled with a brown stick residue and one bag containing wax paper and 30 grams of a brown sticky substance identified as THC, according to the probable cause affidavit from Brevard County.

          Hale, who is currently being held at the Brevard County Jail, has been assigned a public defender and is scheduled to appear before a county judge on May 18. On Monday, he had an initial appearance before a judge on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.

          According to Goodyear, the Berks County District Attorney and Florida law enforcement officials will likely have to reach an agreement about which set of charges will be adjudicated first.

          "If Hale didn't have any local charges, we would send him right back to Pennsylvania," Goodyear said.

          The issue could also be determined during an extradition hearing, according to the public information officer.

          The Florida judge set bail in the case at $3,000. However, Hale would be held on an extradition warrant if he can come up with the money, Goodyear said.

          Anyone with any information pertaining to this investigation is asked to contact the State Police in Reading at 610-378-4011 or Berks Crime Alert at 877-373-9913.






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