COUDERSPORT – Gregory Lynn Eldred, a music teacher at Coudersport Elementary School, has been charged by State Police in Coudersport with First and Third Degree Murder, as well as several misdemeanor charges.
Eldred was arrested early this afternoon after he allegedly walked into the First United Presbyterian Church along North Main and 4th Street and shot his ex-wife, Darlene Sitler, a long-time music teacher at Northern Potter High School in Ulysses.
Sitler, who spent many hours tending to her church’s landscaping, also served as the church’s organist. She was a music teacher at Northern Potter for over 30 years. She was 53 years old.
Eldred has been a music teacher at Coudersport for at least 25 years. A U.S. Army Veteran, Eldred performed with the Army Band of NYC before earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
According to the Coudersport Elementary School website, “He is currently principal clarinet for the Southern Tier Symphony, Olean Community Orchestra and Wellsville Performing Arts Orchestra and plays saxophone in several community ensembles. Mr. Eldred resides with his cat in Coudersport. In his spare time he enjoys archery hunting, rifle hunting and golf.”
In addition to one count of First Degree Murder and one count of Third Degree Murder, 52-year-old Eldred has been charged with Simple Assault(M1), Recklessly Endangering Another Person(M2) and Terroristic Threats(M1).
Eldred, who was arraigned before District Judge Delores Weiss at 11:00 pm this evening, was denied bail and remanded to the Potter County jail.
A Preliminary Hearing has been scheduled for 1:00 pm on December 12 at District Judge Annette Easton’s office. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney Andy Watson. Eldred is represented by Spencer Gleason, of Wellsboro.
Potter County Coroner Kevin Dusenbury, Sr. pronounced the victim dead at 12:15 pm this afternoon. State Police say they were assisted at the scene by Potter County District Attorney Andy Waston, Austin Police, Coudersport Police, Sweden Township Police, PSP Emporium, PSP Montoursville and Coudersport Volunteer Fire and Ambulance.