Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Monkey in the Middle’ on Investigation Discovery: Spencer Newcomer Found Not Guilty of Murder, Claimed Self-Defense (May 25, 2017)

Preview: A man finds himself living between hostile neighbors on both sides, including a former marine with severe PTSD. Their campaign of intimidation ramps up to the point of no return, ending with a deadly confrontation on the street outside their homes. -Monkey in the Middle, Fear Thy Neighbor (S4, E8)

Date: June 10, 2012
Victim: David Wintermyer, 47, retired US Marine Corps, veteran
Offender: Spencer Newcomer, 42, employed (self-defense)
Location: York, Pennsylvania
Circumstances: Spencer Newcomer wouldn’t mow his grass because he wanted to be one with the land and mother nature on his down time, he owns the home his grandfather owned, lots of great memories, Greg Taylor lives next-door to Spencer, Dave Wintermyer inherited his father’s home and moved to the neighborhood on the other side of Spencer, Dave retired from the Marines after twenty years, his long tours overseas ended his marriage, Dave was very proud to be a Marine, he flew the American flag and the USMC flag proudly on his property, Dave wants to play the hero and help others, Spencer’s dad was a Marine too, he served four years, Spencer appreciated Dave’s service because of his dad’s experience, Dave got out of the Marine Corps but he didn’t give up leadership or Marine Corps values, he would do anything for anybody, Dave would clear everyone’s driveways when it snowed, he became the guardian of the street, Dave would look after people’s homes when they were gone, Spencer’s dogs started pooping on Dave’s lawn, Spencer denied that it was his dog, Greg said Spencer’s dogs pooped in his yard as well, the neighbors confirmed Spencer’s dogs did not stay in his yard, Spencer found Dave in his yard one day, Dave was burning brush in his yard and blasting music, Dave told Spencer he didn’t like his dogs, on another occasion Dave took Spencer’s ladder without his permission and Spencer confronted him about it, Dave thought he was Mayor of Yorkland, Greg got more and more obsessive with his property, Greg and Dave started ganging up on Spencer about his overgrown property, Dave mowed his lawn every week, Greg and Dave had disdain for Spencer’s yard, Dave asked Spencer countless times to keep his dogs off his lawn but Spencer brushed it off as if he didn’t care, Dave approached Spencer one day and told him he had enough of his dog’s pooping on his property, Dave told Spencer he was a Marine and he was not and he needed to respect that, he threatened Spencer, but Spencer didn’t appear to care that he was offending anyone or if his dogs were bothering Dave, Spencer became more wary of Dave’s behavior, it got stranger and stranger, neighbors thought Spencer’s shed was an eye sore and needed to be torn down, Dave was worried that termites would get into his backyard, Spencer didn’t think it was a big deal because no one could see it, Greg was anal and wanted everyone’s stuff to look like his, Greg and Dave acted like they owned the block, Spencer met Bonnie Henderson and eventually asked her to move in with him, she loved his untamed yard, she noticed some of the yards in the neighborhood were immaculate, Dave was angry about his weeds growing six feet tall, Greg hatched a plan with Dave and they reported Spencer to the township, they complained about the weeds in the backyard and the inspector told him he needed to cut down the weeds, he was fined $600, this was just the beginning of their campaign of harassment, someone knocked over Spencer’s woodpile in his backyard while they were not home, the township does not allow boats or jet skis on the property, both Dave and Greg got fined for this, Dave got angry at the town for enforcing the law about his jet skis, another neighbor got fined as well for having a boat in his yard, they thought Spencer was the one reporting them but he denied it, according to Spencer’s girlfriend, he doesn’t like confrontation, Dave started venting on social media about the situation, speaking in a threatening tone, ranting about government overreach, authorities deduced that he suffered from some form of PTSD based on his social media rantings, Dave’s ex-wife didn’t deny that Dave most likely had PTSD after multiple deployments, Dave ranted to Spencer about getting fined by the township, Greg and Dave targeted Spencer and constantly tried to stir things up in the neighborhood, someone flattened Spencer’s tire and vandalized his property, they wrote graffiti all over his windows, the behavior was getting worse and escalating, Spencer called the police to report the harassment, one night they discovered both of Spencer’s dogs were poisoned, they survived but this made Spencer angry, they were scared too, Spencer didn’t know who to trust, Greg wanted to talk to Spencer and Greg said things had gone too far, he said he wanted to live in peace, Greg told Spencer he had nothing to do with any of the vandalism and blamed it all on Dave, he threw Dave under the bus, Greg was instigating Dave to do more and take more action, he used Dave to fuel the fire, he was feeding Dave stuff so he would call the township, Dave wasn’t a bad guy but he had demons that he struggled with, it appeared Dave’s demons were winning the battle, he admitted on social media he couldn’t sleep, Dave’s ex-wife said people with PTSD have triggers, when those triggers happen, it takes them to a very different place, they react on those triggers in a lot of different ways, Dave glared at Spencer and girlfriend when they were in the backyard, Spencer started carrying a pistol because he feared for himself in his backyard, he was protecting himself and his property, he had a permit but never had an occasion to draw a weapon on anyone, things get worst when Bonnie’s rabbit was mutilated, Greg continued to gaslight Dave into taking action, it felt like an act of terrorism to Spencer, they said Spencer was weak, had no guts and the pair were closing in on him, Dave continued to threaten Spencer and his girlfriend and stared at them while they were in their backyard, Spencer didn’t know any way to engage Dave without it escalating to a violent confrontation, Spencer built a wood rack that couldn’t be tipped over, the pair came over and busted up the wood rack, Greg was constantly egging on Dave who had a more aggressive personality, Spencer decided to take action, he called the police and they said there was nothing they could do about it, it added fuel to the fire for Dave, Greg continued to gaslight Dave to take action including harming him if he showed up on their property, Spencer had no idea they were texting each other and egging each other on, Dave started screaming at Bonnie and told her he was going to force her to eat their own dog crap, he was enticing Spencer to come and fight him, Bonnie was fearful because Dave appeared unhinged, Greg watched everything from his property, the police believed their goal was to kill Spencer, Spencer was running late one day and Greg was trying to hold him up, Dave came at Spencer on the road, told him he was sick of his dogs, Spencer tried to diffuse the situation, Dave threatened to kill his dogs so Spencer stopped his vehicle to deal with the situation and protect his dogs and property, Spencer felt backed in a corner as Dave aggressively came at him, Spencer pulled his gun out to defend himself, Spencer saw rage and said Dave looked unhinged, Dave pulled out what looked like a pistol from his pocket and Spencer shot him four times in the chest, but it wasn’t a pistol, it was a cell phone, Spencer called 911 and explained the situation, Spencer was afraid Dave was going to kill him, Spencer was arrested by the police and he was charged with murder, Spencer was held in solitary confinement and waited nine months for a trial, the DA was considering the death penalty, but the defense subpoenaed Dave’s cell phone records and discovered a series of texts between Dave and Greg planning an attack on Spencer, Dave was planning on a confrontation, this new evidence helped the jury decide that Spencer was innocent, but Dave’s ex-wife said the jurors didn’t get to see the real side of Dave, Spencer returned to his home, Greg was never charged with any crime but neighbors believed he was 90% of the reason for all this, Spencer feels isolated by the community and said he regrets that it came to this, he didn’t want this to happen but he felt like he didn’t have a choice
Disposition: Spencer Newcomer was found not guilty of manslaughter in March 2013

David Wintermyer

David Wintermyer, U.S. Marine Corps Retired (Photo: Investigation Discovery)

Source: ‘Monkey in the Middle’ Fear Thy Neighbor, Investigation Discovery

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

In the News:

Neighbor dispute leads to fatal shooting -WGALTV

Related Links:
Obituary: David Edward Wintermyer (1964-2012)
Neighbor dispute leads to fatal shooting
Man fatally shoots neighbor in chest
Police: York County man fatally shot after long dispute
Trial ordered for York County man in neighbor’s death
Live coverage of the Spencer Newcomer murder trial
York Co. forensic lab, real life crime scene investigations
Eyewitness testifies about the murder of David Wintermyer in Springettsbury Township
Spencer Newcomer acquitted of murder/manslaughter
York man acquitted in neighbor’s slaying over shed argument
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Spencer “Lee” Newcomer IV
Reasonable Provocation: Distinguishing the Vigilant from the Vigilante in Self-Defense Law
The Spencer Newcomer Case now on ProArms Podcast
087 The Spencer Newcomer Case | The ProArms Podcast
Spencer Newcomer, David ‘Dave’ Wintermyer: ‘Fear Thy Neighbor’ Tackles Fatal Shooting Of Former U.S. Marine
Interesting Case on TV Tonight | Backwood Homes Magazine
Monkey In the Middle | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Preview)
Monkey in the Middle | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S4, E8)

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