A Pennsylvania man and the woman he is accused of killing both have Carroll County ties.

Joshua John Wertz, 30, of the unit block of Sunset Dr., Hanover, is charged with criminal homicide after allegedly shooting his girlfriend, Nicole Cash, 26, of McSherrystown, on Oct. 13. He is being held without bail ahead of a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 23 in Magisterial District Court, according to electronic court records.


Cash was a 2012 graduate of North Carroll High School. According to his Facebook page, Wertz also attended the former high school in Hampstead.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the West Manheim Township Police Department that charged Wertz with homicide, Wertz and Cash were arguing shortly after midnight on Oct. 13 when Wertz allegedly shot Cash in the head with an AR-15 rifle while she held her 9-month-old son.

Police arrived at Wertz’s home around 12:49 a.m. for a report of a shooting and met with Wertz’s father, Lewis, who lived upstairs of his son at the same location, according to the complaint. The elder Wertz spoke with police while holding the 9-month-old child, who police note in the complaint was covered in blood.

Lewis Wertz told police that he had gone to bed at 10:45 p.m. but was awakened around 12:45 a.m. when his son burst into his room and screamed, “Get up dad, I shot her in the face,” according to the complaint, and then, “I’m going to spend the rest of my life in jail.” Joshua Wertz also allegedly told his father to “call the police, have me arrested.”

Cash did not live with his son, Lewis Wertz told police, but she would sometimes stay over and Wertz said he could often hear the couple arguing from upstairs, telling police, with a laugh, that his son was a “violent drunk,” according to the complaint. The elder Wertz told police Joshua had told him he had been drinking the night of the shooting and claimed he didn’t know the gun was loaded.

In the downstairs apartment where Joshua Wertz lived, police found Cash lying dead of a gunshot wound to her head, an AR-15 and several other firearms, according to the complaint.

After police placed Joshua Wertz in a patrol car and alerted him that he was being recorded by a video camera in the vehicle, according to the complaint, that recording shows Wertz saying, “I told that girl don’t touch my rifle while it’s loaded and what does she do she goes d---ing with it and of course she blows her f---ing head off.”

Police noted in the complaint that Joshua Wertz smelled of alcohol and because he was intoxicated, no interrogation regarding the shooting was conducted at the time of his arrest.

Speaking with Fox 43, Sandra Green, Cash’s mother, described the shooting, especially Cash’s holding her grandchild as it occurred, as a bad dream she wished she could wake up from. Green disputed Wertz’s assertion that Cash grabbed the firearm.

“She’s been raised around guns," Green is quoted as saying. "She would have never grabbed a gun, not unless he was pointing it at [her son] and she was pushing it away.”