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Suspect in Lycoming County Homicide Nabbed at Canadian Border

ELDRED TOWNSHIP — Police have nabbed a suspect in a homicide case in Lycoming County as he was trying to flee to Canada. Police issued an arrest warrant f...

ELDRED TOWNSHIP -- Police have nabbed a suspect in a homicide case in Lycoming County as he was trying to flee to Canada.

Police issued an arrest warrant for Graham Norby-Vardac, 23, of Virginia, in the death of Donald Kleese last week.

When Norby-Vardac saw the charges for the first time in court, he said, "I didn't kill him. I don't really know who killed Mr. Kleese. This is all so overwhelming."

According to court papers, Norby-Vardac was riding his bike through Pennsylvania on his way to Canada when he decided to stop and break into a house near Cogan Station for food and rest.

Norby-Vardac admits to police he broke into the home of Donald Kleese on a whim. He was searching through the house when he heard the 82-year-old man snoring. Kleese started to wake up and that's when troopers say Norby-Vardac hit the elderly man several times in the head with a shovel, killing him.

Taking food and money with him, Norby-Vardac stole the man's car. A day later, he was stopped at the Canadian border where he was arrested while driving the stolen car.

In court, Norby-Vardac appeared agitated saying, "I couldn't bring myself to kill anyone, even if I was trying to survive."

He was brought back to Pennsylvania and arraigned in Lycoming County Tuesday afternoon on charges including criminal homicide, aggravated assault, burglary, and criminal trespass.