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Arrest made in Shoemakersville murder, others sought

Arrest made in Shoemakersville murder, others sought

SHOEMAKERSVILLE, Pa. - A spurned lover and jealousy may be behind a brutal murder in a small town.

Monday, a 49-year-old man was found stabbed to death inside a home he had just recently moved into, state police said.

Tuesday morning, they arrested Michael Walker, 29, and are looking for two other people in connection with crime that shocked Shoemakersville, Berks County.

According to the police, Stephen Leibensperger was living in the home with a friend, Brian Trump.

They say Trump and Walker have been intimate for three years, until recently.
Late Monday morning, state police received a call from Brian Trump who said his Chestnut Street home had just been burglarized.

When troopers arrived, they found the body of Trump's housemate, Stephen Leibensperger, 49.

"His body was found stuffed in the attic of the home," said Berks County District Attorney John Adams. "This was not a random act. We have no connection at this point to drugs."

Michael Walker, 29, was arrested in connection with the stabbing.

"He's in custody," said Adams. "He was arrested early this [Tuesday] morning in the Roadway Inn in Muhlenberg Township by the Pennsylvania State Police."

Jealously and robbery are two possible motives behind the attack, the D.A. said.

Leibensperger had just moved into the home with Trump a week and a half ago.

Investigators say Trump told them, until recently, he and Walker had been together for three years.

"They had been intimate friends, their relationship ended a couple of weeks ago," said Adams.

Walker had reportedly been upset and jealous of Leibensperger.

According to court documents, Walker, his father, Mark Ellis and stepbrother, Brandon went to Trump's home armed with a knife, machete, blanket and rubber gloves.

Police say Walker stabbed Leibensperger multiple times.

All three men then reportedly searched the home and stole $12,000 and two handguns.

The autopsy is expected to be conducted around 8:30 Tuesday night.

This is just the second homicide in the town's history.

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