Suspected 'serial killer' pleads not guilty at formal arraignment

·3 min read

Jun. 14—WILKES-BARRE — A man who a prosecutor said meets the qualification of being a "serial killer" appeared in court for his formal arraignment in two separate homicide cases on Monday.

Harold David Haulman III, 42, appeared before Luzerne County President Judge Michael T. Vough on Monday morning, where he entered not guilty pleas on counts of criminal homicide, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse in the disappearances of both Erica Shultz in 2020 and Tianna Ann Phillips in 2018.

The cases will be tried separately as opposed to being linked together at trial. Deputy Assistant District Attorney Daniel Zola indicated that the prosecutors would be trying Haulman on the charges related to Shultz's disappearance and death first, and then those related to Phillips.

Zola told Vough that he believes both trials will take about two weeks each. Vough said orders regarding scheduling of the next stages in proceedings would be issued.

Prosecutors did not indicate on the record during Monday's hearing whether or not they'd be pursuing the death penalty in the cases against Haulman, instead going into a sidebar discussion with Vough when the question was put to them.

Haulman, a homeless transient, allegedly met Shultz, of Bloomsburg, through a dating website, and prosecutors say he met up with her in a wooded area near Hobbie Road in Butler Township last December.

Prosecutors believe Shultz was killed by Haulman on Dec. 4, but it wasn't until Dec. 28 that her body was found, with defensive wounds to her hands and severe trauma to her head.

After Haulman was arrested for Shultz's death, he was also charged in Phillips' death. Zola said previously that Phillips' body was found in the same wooded area as Shultz's, and that Phillips had also been bludgeoned to death.

Prosecutors say Haulman also met Phillips online in the summer of 2018. Investigators learned that Haulman had written his wife a letter confessing to Phillips' killing.

"On June 13th, 2018, I drove to Berwick, Pa and picked up Tiana Ann Phillips and took her for a drive. We ended up somewhere in the woods east of Berwick, Pa. After walking into the woods, I pulled a knife from my pocket and attacked her from behind cutting her throat," Haulman's letter says going into more detail how Phillips was killed, according to court records.

Additionally, Haulman is a person of interest in the 2005 disappearance of 21-year-old Ashley Parlier from Battle Creek, Mich., who may have been pregnant when she was reported missing.

Charges against Haulman have not been filed in this case, but, according to published reports, Haulman is already a convicted killer, having been convicted of a killing which took place in 1999 in Germany. However, reporting suggests the charges on this case were reduced and he was eventually able to return to the United States.

Zola and assistant district attorneys Rebecca Suzanne Reimiller and Gerry Scott IV are prosecuting here in Luzerne County.

Attorneys Brian C. Corcoran, Charles G. Ross Jr. and Stephen William Palubinsky are defending Haulman.

After Monday's hearing, Haulman was remanded to the county lockup, where he is being held without bail.

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