Man Sentenced for Killing Father Through Bedroom Wall, “Lost His Cool”

A Pennsylvania man, aged 25, has been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for the murder of his father in 2019. Wyatt N. Dettinger was handed down the sentence by District Judge Richard Thomas on Tuesday. The young man was convicted of first-degree murder, a crime that carries a mandatory life sentence under Pennsylvania state law.

The tragic incident occurred in the family home on Carroll Street, Wellsville, where both men resided. The prosecution stated that Wyatt Dettinger shot his father, Duane Dettinger, 48, in a fit of anger because he felt neglected by him. The fatal shooting took place around 11 p.m. on July 22, 2019.

According to the York County District Attorney’s Office, Wyatt Dettinger was also found guilty of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence related to his father’s death. This conviction followed a weeklong trial in Bucks County in December. Judge Thomas additionally sentenced Wyatt Dettinger to six to 12 months for the tampering charge, to be served concurrently with his life sentence.

The York Daily Record reported that Wyatt Dettinger, then 21, shot his father once through the wall of his bedroom with a .243-caliber rifle. He then entered the bedroom and fired a second shot. After the shooting, Wyatt Dettinger fled the scene with a 17-year-old girl.

Law enforcement authorities later located the vehicle and attempted to stop it. Wyatt Dettinger halted the car and ran into a forest near Northern York High School but was quickly apprehended. During a subsequent interview with the police, Wyatt Dettinger confessed that he was in a fit of rage over his father’s behavior, which led to the fatal shooting.

During the trial, Wyatt Dettinger admitted that he was unhappy living with his father, who he claimed paid little attention to him. He accused his father of spending most of his time drinking, using his computer, and womanizing. Wyatt Dettinger also revealed that he had been contemplating suicide on the day of the shooting due to a series of unfortunate events, and that he “lost his cool.”

After firing the first shot, Wyatt Dettinger said he heard his father making “gurgling noises,” which prompted him to fire the second shot. He explained that he “didn’t want to hear that.”