A Pennsburg wife charged with stabbing her husband in the back during a fight at JBS Packerland in Franconia Township in September had her hearing continued for two weeks at the district court of Judge Kenneth Deatelhauser in Souderton Wednesday because she was unaware she was having a preliminary hearing and needed a public defender.
Deborah Ann Hummel, 24, of the 500 block of Main Street, faces a felony aggravated assault charge and misdemeanor charges of attempted simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, possessing an instrument of crime and using prohibited offensive weapons, according to a criminal complaint on file with District Judge Kenneth Deatelhauser in Souderton.
At her preliminary hearing on Wednesday, Deatelhauser told Hummel he didn't want to hold a trial without an attorney.
"This is too serious to do without you being represented," he said.
Franconia Township Detective George Moyer III and Assistant District Attorney Alec O'Neill told Deatelhauser that Hummel thought her hearing was an arraignment. Hummel previous had an arraignment in September.
Moyer said Hummel had just filled out an application for a public defender that morning at the district court.
Hummel told Deatelhauser she is continuing to undergo mental health evaluation at Penn Foundation in West Rockhill once every three weeks.
Hummel's husband and victim, Nicholas Hummel, 24, appeared in the courtroom with his wife.
Deatelhauser ordered both not to have contact with one another.
"If you get involved talkingto her, she'll go to jail," Deatelhauser said. "And I won't be happy with you either."
Nicholas Hummel requested supervised visitation with their children, aged three and four. Deatelhauser ordered that the children be dropped off at a neutral location and Deborah Hummel coordinate visits through a third party.
The no contact rule was dependent on a protection from abuse hearing. If the PFA is in place, then Deatelhauser's ruling is out of the picture. O'Neill expected the PFA to be withdrawn.
Hummel's new hearing is set for Oct. 24 at 10 a.m.
Hummel told Franconia Township detectives that "everything was a blur" when she allegedly stabbed her husband inside his office at the Lower Road meat packing plant on Sept. 28 around 12:26 a.m.
Moyer III wrote in the affidavit that he received a call from a Franconia Township officer who informed him that he and another officer were at JBS Packerland with a stabbing victim and the alleged suspect. Moyer was called to assist in the interrogation of both subjects.
Deborah Hummel gave a statement to police about the incident, police said.
"Hummel was very emotional and upset with the fact that she stabbed her husband," Moyer wrote in the complaint.
Police said Hummel and her husband, who lives in Bally, Berks County, have a 2 1/2-year-old daughter together and have been separated for several months. They are trying to work on their relationship, according to the complaint.
Hummel drove to her husband's work place in the plant's receiving barn to surprise him, according to the complaint. Police said Deborah Hummel even dressed up for the occasion.
However, on her way to meet him, she got in an accident, according to the complaint, and became upset.
Hummel arrived at JBS Packerland, where the two spent some time together, according to the complaint. Then, she didn't feel well and decided to go home.
Police said Deborah Hummel went out to her truck and her husband followed. Once at the truck, Deborah began to experience anxiety because of so many things happening, police said.
Deborah had a question for her husband, according to the complaint: Why was his old girlfriend five-months' pregnant?
Police said Nicholas Hummel allegedly cheated on Deborah with an old girlfriend before.
Hummel said something to her husband about the pregnancy. He then blurted out, "It can't be mine because I only had sex with her two months ago," according to the complaint.
This set off Deborah Hummel into shock, police said.
Nicholas Hummel turned and went back inside to his office, police said.
Deborah Hummel told police she then grabbed a knife out of her truck, according to the complaint.
Once inside his office, the Hummels continued to argue, police said. Nicholas Hummel said, "What is in the past is in the past," according to the complaint, and then turned around.
"She did not know what came over her, but she apparently opened the blade of the knife and stabbed Nick in the right side near his back," Moyer wrote in the complaint.
Hummel told police she felt as though her husband "did not care about anything anymore," according to the complaint.
"As it all was happening, she stated everything was a blur," Moyer wrote in the complaint.
Hummel told police she thought she would just cut herself and then that quickly she stabbed her husband, according to the complaint.
"Hummel was surprised how easily the knife went into his body," Moyer wrote in the complaint.
Hummel got scared and allegedly let go of the knife, the complaint said. The knife stayed in Nicholas Hummel's side.
Deborah Hummel then ran to her truck, where she called her sister, police said. Hummel told her what she had done and that she was sorry, according to the complaint. She also told her sister that she wanted to tell her daughter that she loved her, police said.