Chester County Man Faces More Questions About Killing His Wife and Daughter!

A preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday in the case of Roger Lee Hanks, a Chester County man accused of shooting and killing his wife and daughter at his East Marlborough home, has been postponed, as per the District Court docket.

The hearing, initially set for this week, has now been rescheduled to July 10 at 1 p.m. This delay follows the official entry of a prominent West Chester defense attorney, Michael Skinner, who filed paperwork on June 10 to represent Hanks.

Roger Lee Hanks has been detained without bail in Chester County Prison since his arrest in April. Hanks, known for boasting that he was “born with a fishing rod and a gun in his hands,” is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of third-degree murder, discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, and possession of a weapon. If convicted of the first-degree murder charges, he faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

The tragic incident reportedly began with an argument between Hanks and his wife, Judith Hanks. According to state police, Hanks had been consuming beer and Irish whiskey earlier in the day and was cleaning his handgun.

His daughter, Emily Hanks, was visiting the couple from out of state at the time. The situation escalated when Judith and Emily returned home from the University of Pennsylvania Hospital around 3 p.m.

In an interview with Troopers John Pisker and Brian McNally at Paoli Hospital, Hanks recounted that his wife criticized him for being idle and spending the day sitting in the family room. This argument culminated in Hanks threatening Judith with his Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 9mm handgun.

“If you keep this up, this thing is going to go off,” he allegedly warned her, pointing the gun at her and telling her to leave him alone. Despite claiming that he did not know the gun was loaded, Hanks admitted that the firearm discharged when he pointed it at his wife. Judith Hanks was shot once in the chest and succumbed to her injuries.

The situation further deteriorated when Emily witnessed the shooting. Hanks described his daughter as reacting with rage and screaming at the sight of her mother’s murder. He claimed that in the chaos, the gun went off again as he pointed it at Emily, striking her in the chest. Emily, like her mother, died from her injuries.

During his arrest in the garage of his home on Wiltshire Drive, an affluent cul-de-sac in Unionville near Unionville High School, Hanks was transported to Paoli Hospital for evaluation. It was there that he gave his detailed account to the troopers, describing how the events unfolded. He insisted that the shootings were accidental despite having threatened to “plug” his wife if she did not cease her complaints.

Defense attorney Michael Skinner, known for handling high-profile cases, has now taken over Hanks’ defense. This development led to the continuance of the preliminary hearing as Skinner prepared to mount a defense for his client. Skinner could not be immediately reached for comment regarding his strategy or any potential defenses he may employ.

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As the case progresses, the community remains in shock over the senseless loss of Judith and Emily Hanks. The upcoming hearing on July 10 will be a crucial step in determining the legal outcome for Roger Lee Hanks, who now faces the severe consequences of his alleged actions on that tragic day.

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