Richard Thivener mug

THIVENER

ST. MARYS — The City of St. Marys Police Department has arrested a St. Marys man on a criminal homicide charge after he allegedly tried to purposely cause his wife to fatally overdose in July, according to an affidavit from Magisterial District Judge Mark Jacob’s office.

Richard Glenn Thivener, 37, of St. Marys, is charged with criminal homicide and drug delivery resulting in death, both felonies in the first degree, and recklessly endangering another person, a misdemeanor in the second degree, according to a criminal complaint filed at Jacob’s office Oct. 21.

COSMPD officers responded to reports of a double suicide at 242 N. Michael St. July 26, 2020, where upon arrival, a woman was found dead within the master bedroom. Thrivener was allegedly next to her in the bed, but was transported to the Penn Highlands Elk emergency room, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

Due to the scene investigation, an autopsy was requested and completed, which reportedly showed Lorazepam was present in the victim’s blood. It was ultimately concluded the woman died from “Cardiac Dysrhythmia of Undetermined Etiology,” according to the affidavit of probable cause.

Through further investigation and forensic analysis of cell phone data, witness information and forensic lab reports, police began to look at Thivener as a suspect in the death of his wife, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

On Oct. 21, 2020, Thivener was interviewed by COSMP at the department by an officer, a detective with the Elk County District Attorney’s Office and a Pennsylvania State Police officer. As a result, Thivener allegedly confessed to giving his wife Ativan, a brand name for Lorazepam, and provided details as to how he put 17 Ativan capsules in her soup without her knowledge, intending to cause her death, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

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Thivener also reportedly admitted to stealing the Ativan from his place of employment.

Elk County District Attorney Tom Coppolo said the allegations in this case are not typical.

“These charges were filed as the result of an exhaustive investigation by the COSMPD, Pennsylvania State Police, the Elk County District Attorney’s Office and Elk County Coroner Michelle Muccio,” he said.

The lead charge, criminal homicide, is a “non-bailable” offense, Coppolo noted. The drug delivery resulting in death charge is merely a function in which the alleged homicide was committed.

Thivener is confined in the Elk County Jail. His preliminary hearing is set for 11 a.m. Oct. 27 at Jacob’s office.

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