84-year-old Pennsylvania man accused of murder in dispute over Cat’s Vet Bill

Lower Pottsgrove Township, Pennsylvania – December 1, 2023

In a shocking incident in Lower Pottsgrove Township, Pennsylvania, an 84-year-old man, Barton Seltmann, has been arrested for the alleged brutal beating of his 85-year-old wife, Margaret Seltmann. The tragic event unfolded on Tuesday in their home, approximately 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

Law enforcement authorities were alerted when Barton himself called the police to report an ‘unresponsive female’ at their residence. Responding officers found Margaret to be ‘obviously deceased’ upon arrival.

The couple’s dispute reportedly centered around veterinary bills for their cat, leading to a physical altercation. According to a joint statement from the Montgomery County District Attorney and the police chief, Barton was discovered ‘on the rear porch, with blood on his hands, face, and clothing.’

Barton was subsequently taken to a local hospital for treatment of a hand injury, where evidence at the scene indicated that Margaret had been struck multiple times in the head while lying on the kitchen floor. Autopsy results revealed that Margaret died from blunt force injuries to her head.

The probable cause affidavit suggests a disturbing sequence of events. Barton initially informed 911 operators that someone had ‘beat’ his wife, but during treatment at the scene, he admitted to hurting her during a fight. Police later discovered a kitchen knife under Margaret’s body along with glass shards from a broken candle jar.

In a police interview, Barton claimed that the argument escalated when Margaret threatened him with a knife over their cat’s veterinary bills. He stated that he shoved a chair into her, causing her to fall and hit her head. Despite claiming he hadn’t seen the knife, Barton proceeded to punch and hit her in the head.

During the altercation, Margaret reportedly pleaded, ‘You’re killing me,’ to which Barton responded that she ‘went to sleep.’ Subsequently, Barton was charged with first- and third-degree murder and remanded to the Montgomery County Correction Facility. A preliminary court hearing is scheduled for December 5.

Family members expressed shock and distress, revealing that Barton may have been struggling with memory issues. Margaret had recently voiced concerns about his possible dementia. Ron Seltmann, Barton’s brother, emphasized that the couple, married for over 30 years, had seemed happy together, and the tragedy has left their close-knit family shattered.

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