Elderly man charged with murdering wife during argument over vet bills

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA – An 84-year-old man has been charged with the murder of his 85-year-old wife in Lower Pottsgrove Township, Pennsylvania, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office. The accused, Barton Seltmann, reportedly told police that the fatal confrontation ensued during an argument about their pet cat’s veterinary bills.

On November 28, Lower Pottsgrove police responded to a 911 call reporting an “unresponsive” woman at a North Keim Street residence. Officers arrived on the scene to find Barton Seltmann, whose hands, face, and clothes were covered in blood. Inside the house, the lifeless body of Margaret Seltmann was discovered in the kitchen, with visible head injuries.

Investigators noted that Seltmann was treated at the scene by medics. Seltmann admitted to them that he had injured his wife during an altercation.

At the Lower Pottsgrove Police Department, Barton Seltmann gave his account of the events in a subsequent interview. He alleged that the dispute had escalated when his wife brandished a knife and threatened to kill him. In response, he claimed to have forced a four-legged chair into her, causing her to fall and hit her head. Although he did not see a knife in her hand at the time, he told police he continued to strike her with his fists and a candle holder.

He recalled her saying, “You’re killing me,” before she “went to sleep,” investigators said. A post-incident inspection of the scene reportedly uncovered a small kitchen knife beneath Margaret Seltmann’s body, as well as shards of glass from a broken candle jar.

Following his statements, Barton Seltmann was arrested and charged with first-degree and third-degree murder. He is currently being held at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. His preliminary court hearing is scheduled for December 5.