The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

June 2, 2014

Police: Suspect said shooting was an accident

WINDBER — State police say the Windber man charged with shooting his pregnant girlfriend Saturday told responders he accidentally shot her in the face after breaking his shotgun during an argument.

Denver Blough, 25, then allegedly worried “What’s going to happen to my baby?” as they took him to the state police barracks in Somerset, investigators said.

Caressa Kovalcik, 23, died the night of the shooting from a shotgun head wound, shortly after an emergency surgery was conducted at Memorial Medical Center to deliver the child she had been carrying for nine months.

The cesarean section procedure was reportedly completed without complications although the baby was flown to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh for care.

Blough  faces a tentative preliminary hearing on June 11 before District Judge William Seger on criminal homicide, attempted criminal homicide and aggravated assault charges, among others.

According to a criminal complaint filed Monday, police arrived at the scene shortly before 7 p.m. to find Blough at the apartment.

“I shot her,” Blough allegedly told a Windber patrolman.

After signing a Miranda Rights warning and waiver, he later told state troopers he and Kovalcik were arguing. In anger, he allegedly broke his 20-gauge gun into two pieces, separating the barrel from its stock, Trooper Ted Goins wrote  an affidavit.

“Blough related he took the barrel assembly out to a kitchen area to show Kovalcik, where it discharged into her face,” Goins wrote.

Blough, currently in Somerset County Jail, has no prior criminal record in the region, according to online court records.

He has applied for a public defender, Seger said Monday.

Because he’s charged with criminal homicide, no bond has been set.

A condition update on Kovalcik’s newborn has not been released by the Pittsburgh hospital’s media relations staff.

David Hurst covers Windber for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at

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