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News

PA Man Admits To Trying To Kill Estranged Wife In Front Of Daughter, 8

Walter Joseph Vandoren Jr.
Walter Joseph Vandoren Jr. Photo Credit: Bucks County DA

A Bucks County man who violated a protection of abuse order in repeatedly stabbing his estranged wife last August admitted trying to kill her before a judge on Wednesday, authorities said.

Walter Joseph Vandoren Jr., 44, of Bristol Township, pleaded guilty to attempted homicide, burglary, criminal trespassing, simple assault, possession of an instrument of crime, terroristic threats, and criminal mischief before Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey L. Finley, the Bucks County DA's Office announced.

Bristol Borough police were dispatched to the 200 block of Buckley Street after receiving multiple 911 calls of a domestic assault in which the victim was screaming for help around 6 a.m. Aug. 3, 2020, authorities said.

Arriving officers found Vandoren armed with a knife and on top of his estranged wife, the DA's office said. 

Officers were able to stop the attack, take Vandoren into custody and recover two knives, authorities said. 

The victim was bleeding profusely from multiple stab wounds and rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. The investigation found that the victim was separated from Vandoren for a year, and she had an active Protection from Abuse (PFA) order against him.

In the days leading up to the attack, Vandoren had been sending angry texts to her for about four or five days until she blocked his number, the DA's office said.

On Aug. 3, the victim was in her backyard with a friend when Vandoren jumped the fence, authorities said.

The victim and her friend ran inside the house and locked the door, but Vandoren reportedly chased them, punched open a window and unlocked the door. 

Vandoren continued to chase them, and they tried to escape by climbing to the roof and through an upstairs window. Vandoren went after the friend until the friend fell off the roof and injured himself, authorities said. 

The victim tried to hide inside her house, but Vandoren eventually returned, pushed in an air conditioning unit, and climbed inside. He was armed with a butcher knife and chased her into the backyard, threatening to kill her, Deputy District Attorney Mary Kate Kohler said in court. 

“He came at her at the side of the home as she screamed for help and he wrapped his left arm around her and started stabbing her twice in the side of her stomach with his other arm,” Kohler said. 

The victim tried to grab the knife to prevent Vandoren from stabbing her again, but he continued making threats to kill her and then stabbed her in the chest, authorities said.

Her 8-year-old daughter was present at the time of the attack, Kohler said. 

The victim was in critical condition for two weeks and was released after three weeks in the hospital. 

Her injuries required multiple surgeries and left her without the use of one of her hands. 

Sentencing was deferred to a later date. 

This case was investigated by the Bristol Borough Police Department and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Mary Kate Kohler. 

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