Lehigh Valley

Man to stand trial in killing of ex-girlfriend with homemade gun

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A Lehigh County man will stand trial in the killing of a woman who was both his neighbor and former girlfriend.

Josef Raszler appeared in court Thursday for his preliminary hearing in the fatal shooting of Stephanie Roof with a homemade air rifle on September 13, 2016.

During the hearing, Roof's boyfriend, Sean Cooper, testified for the prosecution, saying he found Roof bleeding in the driveway of her home in Lower Macungie Township.

Roof later died at the hospital.

Roof broke off the relationship with Raszler in 2015, but for Raszler, it was never over, according to investigators.

The investigation shed light on his pain and anger through text messages sent to Roof, saying "I still love you like crazy" and "I will forever hate you."

Pennsylvania State Police troopers said they recovered more than 3,000 messages between Roof and Raszler. 

In court Thursday, Trooper Steven Furlong read the messages that mostly accused Roof of being unfaithful.

In one text Raszler told Roof that he should never have lost his virginity to Roof.

Other messages show the hurt Raszler felt: "I thought it would go away. I still miss you."

It was also apparent Raszler felt anger in some of his texts. One said: "You and your family can go to hell."

Investigators said they also retrieved Raszler's computer history, finding searches for the "most powerful air rifle."

Raszler remains in the Lehigh County Jail without bail. He's due back in court for a formal arraignment on June 19.

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