Man charged in Waterloo shooting indicted on 19 counts including murder

Local News

The man accused of shooting three people at a home in Waterloo, killing two, has been indicted.

A grand jury handed up a 19-count indictment on charges of murder, assault, burglary, tampering with a witness, intimidating a victim or witness, criminal use of a firearm, reckless endangerment, and criminal contempt against Emerson Tohafjian.

On the night of July 10, troopers say Tohafjian opened fire, killing his ex-girlfriend Lori McConnell and 45-year-old Charlie Andrus. Another woman was also shot, but survived.

Before the deadly attack, Tohafjian had been arrested for two separate incidents of domestic violence against McConnell. During the second attack, deputies said Tohafjian raped McConnell and threatened to kill her. Orders of protections were issued for each incident, and Tohafjian was jailed, but quickly made bail both times.

Before being murdered, Lori McConnell had been in a relationship with Tohafjian. Lori’s son, Matthew Van Doren says once she broke free all she wanted was to get back to her family. 

“All she thought about was us and her grandkids, before “John” took her life that week she told me ‘this is my second chance to be a mom and a grandma after this monster’s gone,” said Van Doren.

That alleged ‘monster’ as Matthew calls him, was arrested in early, and again in mid-June, for harassing and then raping McConnell. 

After being released on bail both times, Emerson then allegedly shot and killed Mcconnell, Charlie Andrus, a friend of McConnell’s, and injuring a third, Karen Zdunko. 
  
Even though two people were killed, the indictment includes four counts of first degree murder, because Seneca County D.A.  Barry Porsch says, “one subsection deals with murdering a witness, another subsection deals with murdering someone in the commission of another felony.” McConnell was set to testify against Tohafjian at his rape trial. 

He was supposed to be arraigned but asked for it to be adjourned, saying he needed time to find an attorney.

“He’s playing games with us, he’s playing games with the justice system he even cracked a joke about the justice system when he left,” said McConnell’s son.

McConnell’s son says postponing this is just another way for Tohafjian to continue tormenting their family. 

Tohafjian  is being held without bail and is supposed to be arraigned on August 6th, at 10a.m.

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