Prosecutor: Suspect wrote of murder

May 2, 2008 3:47:14 PM PDT
New and startling details have emerged in the murder of a woman inside a Bucks County church. The suspect's day planner may be the smoking gun.

65-year-old Mary Jane Fonder of Kintnersville is charged with the first degree murder of Rhonda Smith back in January. The motive for the murder, according to police, was jealousy.

When someone found 42-year-old Rhonda Smith dead inside the Trinity Evangelical Church in Springfield Township, Bucks County back on January 23rd, no one knew exactly how she died. In fact, some had suspected she committed suicide.

Today in court, prosecutors say Fonder not only shot and killed the victim, but also wrote about the killing in her day planner. In the planner on the date January 23, 2008 three words were written: Rhonda, Murder, Hairdresser.

"The mere fact that its there is certainly important evidence in the case," says Dave Zellis, Bucks County Assistant District Attorney.

Fonder's attorney Michael Applebaum told reporters, "The church thought that she was killed and that it was a violent death. That was the consensus."

State Police also revealed that bullet fragments found at the crime scene and in Smith's body were likely fired from a gun later found in Lake Nockamixon. The gun had been purchased by Fonder. She claims she tossed it in the lake 15 years ago.

When asked if she shot Rhonda Smith, Fonder told Action News, "No". And when asked if she was jealous of Smith, Fonder replied, "Never".

Fonder is headed back to jail, and will return to court later this month.


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