COLLIER TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (KDKA) – Louis Vignone was a popular figure in the Sheraden neighborhood for many years.
In May 2018, Vignone sold his house and, friends and neighbors say, moved to get away from Eric Kortz, who lived across the street.
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“The neighbor bothered him and that’s why he decided to move,” says Paul Stemplewski, a lifelong friend of Vignone.
According to an affidavit, Kortz stopped Vignone’s postbus on Thursday and “went in a few bullets”. He then drove to the police station to turn himself in. At the scene of the crime, the investigators found the discarded pistol and seven cartridge cases.
The affidavit reads: “Kortz claimed he shot Vignone because Kortz believed that Vignone and Vignone’s family had poisoned Kortz and Kortz’s family with cyanide when Vignone and Kortz were previously neighbors.”
Investigators and long-time friends like Paul Stemplewski said Vignone was friends with Kortz’s father. But when the man died five years ago, Kortz accused Vignone of poisoning his father and trying to poison the rest of the family.
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The threats continued and escalated after Vignone moved.
“He followed him a few times on his route and actually found where he lives in his new neighborhood. It wasn’t a spontaneous thing. Apparently that’s what this guy was up to, ”said Stemplewski.
Kortz has no criminal record, only one criminal record for driving an unchecked vehicle. His ramshackle home is littered with rubble and has multiple liens for not paying city and county taxes for several years. A young man inside didn’t answer the door on Friday.
Neighbors told KDKA’s Andy Sheehan that police had come into the house several times, including a few months ago when Kortz claimed someone had put poison in his truck. Stemplewski said Vignone told his superiors about the continued stalking but did not alert the police.
“Because Lou is a good guy. He thinks everyone is the same and this guy will get over it and everyone is good, ”said Stemplewski.
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Kortz is being prosecuted for the death of a US Postal Service employee. The law provides a maximum sentence of life imprisonment or death.