Police say Whritenour gave false info in shooting case

BY STACI WILSON

As Jason Aronowitz was heading to trial on an attempted homicide charge earlier this month, another inmate at the Susquehanna County Correctional Facility stepped forward Nov. 5 to say he had witnessed the May 2011 shooting at the Parkview Hotel in New Milford.

Now, that man is charged with providing false information to police.

Stephen Whritenour, 31, of Oakland Borough, told Tpr. Mark Mulvey that he was in the parking lot of the Parkview Hotel the night Michael Reid was shot and saw the events leading up to it.

He has now been charged in Montrose District Court with one count of hindering apprehension or prosecution.

Whritenour was recently sentenced in Susquehanna County Court to serve five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to dealing heroin out of his home.

According to the affidavit, Whritenour said he didn’t come forward sooner with information because he didn’t want to get involved but changed his mind.

In an interview with police at the county jail, Whritenour said he went to the Parkview to pick up his friend, Robert Weaver, who had called him for a ride home.

According to the affidavit, Whrtienour said he saw Aronowitz and Reid engaged in a shoving match and then saw Aronowitz pull out a gun.

Whritenour told police that Reid and Weaver wrestled with Aronowitz and then he heard two gun shots and saw Reid fall to the ground. According to the affidavit, he also told police he saw Weaver pick up the gun, point it at Aronowitz’s head and shoot him but that the gun jammed. Weaver then, Whritennour said, threw the gun into Midtown Park and he gave him a ride home.

Police also interviewed Weaver who disputed Whritenour’s account of the night’s events. He said Whritenour was not even at the Parkview that evening but was at a bar in Binghamton, N.Y., with his wife, Shawna.

Weaver said that after the shooting, to which he was a witness, he went to a friend’s home in Hallstead and called Whritenour for a ride from there. He said both Whritenour and his wife picked him up in Hallstead.

Shawna Whritenour’s account of the evening corroborated Weaver’s statement.

According to the affidavit, Shawna Whritenour said she was at a Binghamton area bar when Weaver called her husband for a ride and that the couple picked him up in Hallstead. She also told police Weaver told them about the shooting in the car.

Whritenour is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing in front of District Judge Jeffrey Hollister on Dec. 17.

Before testimony began in the case against Arnowitz, he pleaded guilty to one count of of aggravated assault – causing serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to serve five-10 years by President Judge Kenneth Seamans.