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Police: Frazer woman killed husband after arguing over burnt casserole

| Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, 9:00 a.m.
Courtesy of Allegheny County Police
Teresa Drum
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Allegheny County Police say Teresa Drum fatally shot her husband, Dennis Drum Sr., in their Crawford Run Road home in Frazer on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017.

A Frazer woman charged with killing her husband Monday night claimed he shot himself when she called 911, police say in court documents.

But police say Teresa Drum, 38, did not call 911 until after sending a picture of her husband's dead body to a friend and taking a shower to “rinse off.”

Allegheny County Police charged Teresa Drum with criminal homicide in the death of her husband, Dennis Drum Sr., 42. She is being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bail.

Frazer police were dispatched to the couple's home in the 800 block of Crawford Run Road about 10:30 p.m. Monday.

Gary Perrin, who lives a few doors down across the township line in Indiana Township, said he didn't know about the incident until Tuesday morning. A longtime resident, Perrin didn't know the Drums.

“It's a shame,” he said. “Anytime it happens anywhere, it's a surprise.”

Frazer police Chief Terry Kuhns said the couple's two children were in the house at the time but were not hurt. He would not divulge their ages.

The children are now with other family, he said.

According to county records, the Drums bought the house in Frazer in late 2014. Kuhns said police responded to one prior domestic disturbance there about a year ago, but it was not violent and no charges were filed. They previously lived in Springdale, according to voter registration information. Police there said they had no contact with the Drums during their time in the borough.

According to court records, officers found Dennis Drum in a bedroom, lying in a fetal position on his left side with a gun in his right hand. A holster was found on the floor behind him. He had a gunshot wound to his forehead.

At the house, Teresa Drum showed paramedics her cellphone and produced a picture she had taken at 10:20 p.m. of her husband lying as first responders had found him.

Teresa Drum said she took the picture because she didn't know what to do, court documents state. She sent the picture to a friend, who told her to call 911.

Police said that, in the picture taken 11 minutes before the 911 call, no gun can be seen around Dennis Drum or in his right hand.

According to court records, Drum told Frazer police officers that her husband had shot himself and claimed they had been arguing because she'd drunk his last beer. Drum said her husband pointed the gun at her and it went off when she tried to push it away, according to police.

During later questioning at county police headquarters, Drum reportedly told detectives that she had drunk seven beers since 5 p.m., leaving her with a “buzz” but not intoxicated.

According to police, Drum said she and her husband had been fighting about a casserole she burned that night. She said he began insulting her and cursing at her for her cooking, and they ended up in a bedroom.

She said her husband was sitting on the edge of the bed and she was standing over him when he pulled the gun from a holster.

She said she put her finger on the gun's trigger, along with his, and it went off.

Drum told detectives she took a shower to “rinse off” before calling 911. She then put her bloody clothes in a laundry basket.

According to police, Drum said she did not know how the gun ended up in her husband's hand.

Drum is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing March 8 before Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning.

Staff writer Megan Guza contributed. Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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