Accused Infant Abuser Commits Suicide On Last Day Of Trial In Central Pennsylvania: DA

A man on trial for allegedly abusing his approximately 1-month-old infant son multiple times was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf announced. 

Brian Hungler who died by suicide on the last day of trial for allegedly abusing his infant son. 

Brian Hungler who died by suicide on the last day of trial for allegedly abusing his infant son. 

Photo Credit: Facebook/Brian Hungler @brian.hungler.908

Brian Paul Hungler, 33 of North Lebanon Township, was on bail during the trial in connection with the May 2022 abuse of his baby boy, according to the DA and public records. 

The bail was $25,000 as set by Magisterial District Judge Carl R. Garver on the day he was arrested, May 16, 2022, court records show. It was posted by Professional Bondsman Jermaine Bradley Owens the following day. 

Hungler was accused of committing "serious injuries inflicted to the baby’s brain, ribs, and leg bones," DA Hess Graf noted in the release. 

His jury trial began on Monday, April 22, 2024, as detailed in court documents. 

Senior Deputy DA Amy Muller presented evidence of his alleged guilt and "Detective David Shaffer testified as to the multiple times [Hungler] confessed he caused the injuries to his newborn," as stated in the release. 

Numerous doctors also testified as to the extent of the baby's "broken bones and internal brain bleeds," Hess Graf said, adding "Lastly, a medical expert from the Hershey Medical Center’s Child Protective Team opined the injuries were caused only by an abuser." 

The closing statements and deliberation were scheduled for Wednesday, April 24, but before the court could to session for the day, the police were called to his home for a report of "a gunshot injury," according to the release. 

Hungler was found inside his home and in "his hand was a semiautomatic handgun," the DA said. He was pronounced dead at Hershey Medical Center due to "a single gunshot wound to his head consistent with a self-inflicted injury," according to the release. 

The Lebanon County Detective Bureau is investigating along with the North Lebanon Township Police.

“The public can draw its own conclusions about the Defendant’s guilt based on his suicide. In quantifying criminal behavior, abusers of infants are the lowest of the low. The baby suffered daily, unable to speak for himself and cry out against his attacker – his own father. To then take his own life in lieu of facing the jury’s decision is utter cowardice. Our Office will never be deterred from prosecuting and convicting child killers and child abusers. We will always pursue justice for victims of abuse and violence, even when their perpetrators choose suicide over accountability and facing the consequences of their own actions,” DA Pier Hess Graf concluded.

Hungler was an Elizabethtown native who previously lived in previously lived in Palmyra and Lebanon, public records show. He attended Dauphin County Technical School and most recently worked at J.P. Mascaro & Sons, Four Seasons Produce and Walters Services Inc., according to his Facebook about page. Additional information about his life was not immediately available. 

If you or someone love is having thoughts of suicide there is help, call or text 988 or click here to chat with a professional. 

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