Plotts arraigned in Mercy Fitzgerald shootings

Richard Plotts was arraigned twice.
Richard Plotts was arraigned twice.
Posted: August 14, 2014

As he was arraigned on murder counts before a Delaware County judge Tuesday, Richard Plotts asked questions, sniffled, raised his eyebrows, and said he didn't understand all the charges against him.

Plotts, accused of killing his caseworker and exchanging gunfire with his psychiatrist at a Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital facility last month, appeared in court in Yeadon through a video feed from prison.

The 49-year-old Upper Darby Township man is charged with first- and third-degree murder for the killing of caseworker Theresa Hunt, assault for shooting his psychiatrist, and several related charges.

The arraignment was Plotts' first court appearance since he was released from the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania last week. He was initially arraigned at his hospital bedside, but the Delaware County District Attorney's Office said that Plotts' return to the county required a second arraignment on the same charges.

"Of the third degree? Huh," Plotts said, seated in a chair with his hands handcuffed behind his back, hair disheveled on top of his head.

Judge W. Keith Williams Jr. told Plotts he will have an opportunity to ask questions when an attorney is appointed for him.

Dressed in a jumpsuit, Plotts showed no visible signs of injury, even though he was in critical condition for several days following the shooting.

Investigators said Plotts walked into his July 24 appointment in an office building at Mercy Fitzgerald in Yeadon with a gun and shot Hunt, 53, in the head. Psychiatrist Lee Silverman then pulled out his own gun and shot Plotts, police said. Bullets grazed Silverman in the head and hit his hand; authorities said the doctor acted in self defense.

Plotts is being held without bail at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Delaware County. His next court hearing was scheduled for Aug. 26.


lmccrystal@phillynews.com

610-313-8116

@Lmccrystal

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