Authorities say 58-year-old John Stone admitted hitting his ex-girlfriend several times in the head with the hatchet inside his Shickshinny home.
Luzerne County District Attorney Jacqueline Musto Carroll says Stone and 37-year-old Catherine Tabit argued late Saturday night or early Sunday. Police say Stone told them Tabit slapped him, then he grabbed the hatchet and struck her repeatedly. He then went to a the home of a neighbor who called police.
Investigators say Stone told police he and Tabit had broken up in August but remained friends.
Stone is charged with homicide and being held without bail. It was not clear if he had an attorney.