Police say Frazer murder scene, photo didn’t match
One of the first police officers to arrive at the scene of a 2017 fatal shooting in Frazer testified in an Allegheny County court Monday that he found the dead man clutching a loaded pistol in his right hand.
The testimony came during the first day of the non- jury trial for Teresa Drum, 40, of Frazer, who is accused of shooting her husband, Dennis Drum Sr., and then tampering with his body to make it look as though he shot himself.
Police say the shooting happened after the two quarreled in the master bedroom of their Crawford Run Road house with their two children in bedrooms down the hall.
Timothy Reilly, who was then a Frazer patrolman, testified that he and another officer were the first to arrive to the Drums’ house, about 10 minutes after receiving a 911 call.
Reilly said he saw Drum on the floor of the bedroom. He had been shot in the forehead.
The other officer, Kevin Novak, said he saw the body, too, and had to restrain Teresa Drum from pushing into the room to stand by her husband.
Reilly testified he put on latex gloves and removed the pistol from Dennis Drum’s hand because the man’s index finger was on the trigger.
But, when Assistant District Attorney Kevin Chernoski showed Reilly a photo of Dennis Drum’s body, which police say was taken by his wife before she called 911, Reilly said the photo differed from what he saw.
The photo showed Dennis Drum’s body in a fetal position on the floor, a pool of blood, but no pistol.
Asked if the photo depicted what he saw, Reilly testified, “except his right hand was missing a firearm and the dead man’s right hand was further down.”
Teresa Drum is accused of taking that photo on her cellphone, sending it to a friend, then taking a shower before calling 911.
Prosecutors also played a videotaped interview Allegheny County detectives conducted with Teresa Drum.
On the tape, Teresa Drum recounted the night of the shooting, saying she and her husband quarreled over bills and a casserole she burned the night of the shooting.
On the tape, she said she took a shower because she had lot of blood on her.
She said she “really didn’t know that the shooting was real,” so she took a photo of her husband and sent it to her friend.
“There was blood on my hair, on my face, my hands. I had to wash it off,” she said.
Police say they found blood on the bathroom tile and Teresa Drum’s clothing in a hamper.
During the interview, Drum told police that her husband suddenly pulled the pistol from a holster and pointed it at her.
She told police during the interview that her husband said, “Just shoot me. I know you want to shoot me.”
Drum then told police she pushed the pistol away and it went off.
During the interview, Drum offered no explanation for a second bullet hole police say they found in the wall above the headboard of the couple’s bed.
The trial before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jill E. Rangos is scheduled to resume Tuesday morning.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .