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Johnstown Homicide Was Domestic Violence Related

Police say it was a case of domestic violence that led to the death of a Johnstown woman over the weekend.

Officers were called to separate the couple on Saturday morning, just hours before they say the man returned to shoot and kill the woman at a home in Hornerstown.

Officials say it takes victims an average of 7 times to leave an abusive relationship for good.

Not only did officials provide new information regarding the deadly Hornerstown shooting, but also emphasized the resources available to anybody dealing with domestic violence.

According to the affidavit in the case, police say Michael Lyles Jr. shot and killed Kandace Mervin in a home on the 600 block of Wood Street.

The shooting occurred after police say they separated the two from a verbal dispute and left due to finding no signs of physical abuse.

Just a short time later, Mervin was pronounced dead at the scene, with Lyles being arrested and now held in the Cambria County Prison.

Cambria County District Attorney Greg Neugebauer says Lyles had a no contact order against him but says Lyles continued living with Mervin.

Officials note it’s not common, but can happen, where victims take pity and side with helping the defendant. In this case, court documents say Mervin helped bail Lyles out of jail back in January after he was charged with simple assault and strangulation.

“We do from time to time, sit down with victims and refuse to drop cases. I’ve had people in my office yelling at me, and we’re able to see the pattern, and we have a case that we can try to pursue without them. It’s also not uncommon to have the victim come with the defendant to a hearing.”

“We do see more people come forward because of the publicity, and because of the awareness of the services. Quite frankly, unless you’re in these situations, People don’t always know the services exist. So, we want to be there. We want to be able to help provide counseling, therapy, and all of the assistance we can to empower that victim, and hopefully prevent these situations when we can.”

Officials say to call 814-288-4961 if you are dealing with domestic abuse situations.

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