Poconos Coal

Woman accused of killing mother with crossbow in Palmerton

PALMERTON BOROUGH, Pa. - A woman has been arrested for allegedly killing her mother with a crossbow.

State Police say authorities were contacted by family members of Sandra Marie Barndt, 71, of Palmerton Borough, who were concerned for her welfare.

The family said they had not heard from Barndt since Wednesday, September 27.

When police responded to the home at 716 1st Street Friday around 1:45 p.m. they say they found Barndt’s body.

Police say Barndt’s daughter, Lisa Marie Caplan, 51, shot her mother with a crossbow after an argument, killing her.

Caplan is charged with criminal homicide.

Attorney Jon Ostroff, who told 69 News he is representing Caplan until a public defender can be assigned, says Caplan has a “long-standing history of severe mental illness, including chronic schizophrenia.”

"Ms. Caplan remains unable to comprehend what she has been charged with doing. If not for the failure of a broken mental health system, the death of her mother and this nightmare for her family, would not have occurred," said Ostroff.

Ostroff says Caplan has been in and out of mental health facilities for decades during which he says she has been a danger to herself and her family.

Ostroff says Caplan was recently released from a psychiatric institution, a development he calls a “failure of the mental health system.”

Caplan’s preliminary hearing is set for October 11, 2017.

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