Police: Taylor woman staged attempted murder scene, framed estranged husband

TAYLOR, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WOLF) -- A Lackawanna County woman is facing some serious charges and jail time.

Police say she told them her estranged husband fired a shotgun at her while she slept in her home, but that it all turned out to be an elaborate lie.

As police led 57-year-old Loretta Maria Simonson out of the Taylor Police station in cuffs tonight she proclaimed her innocence.

“I didn’t do it… You didn’t do it? Nope. Did you stage this whole thing? Nope. Tell us your story… Why, nobody believes me anyway so it doesn’t matter," Simonson said.

That story is different from the one police say she told them earlier on Thursday, when she admitted to framing her estranged husband Charles Simonson for attempted murder.

Police arrested and charged Simonson Wednesday after his wife told her doctor he fired a shotgun at her early Friday morning at the home on West Taylor Street.

He was then released from the Lackawanna County Prison and those charges will be dropped Friday.

The doctor reported the incident to Scranton Police, who then turned it over to Taylor Police.

“Just speaking to her she led investigators to her bedroom and showed them the bullet hole in the wall and that’s where the whole story began with her saying that she was shot at while she was sleeping," Taylor Police Chief Stephen Derenick said.

But officials say the fact that she waited nearly a week to report the incident, and then only to her doctor raised huge red flags.

After she gave a statement to officials, they began following up with neighbors.

“The story began to really unravel and what really broke it was we had a neighbor who indicated that she actually saw the murder weapon the day after the alleged attempted murder. Mrs. Simonson called her over to the home and indicated she was giving things away and would she want anything here and the shotgun was in the corner of the room," Lackawanna County First Assistant District Attorney Judy Price said.

The neighbor took the gun, and after an interview with police, turned it over to them.

Then, police called Loretta Simonson back in where she admitted to making the whole thing up and staging the scene by firing a shot through her own bedroom wall.

“31 years and this is the first of this type of incident I’ve come across in Taylor. I mean we get the small ones where people lie here and there, but of this magnitude I’ve never been involved in something like this," Chief Derenick said.

Officials didn’t comment on a motive, but say the couple filed for divorce back in September.

Loretta Simonson will be arraigned on several charges sometime Thursday night or Friday.

She faces up to 16 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

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