Bradford - September 11, 2012 - A Bradford man was sentenced to life in prison after entering a plea of no contest to murder in McKean County Court today. Waide E. Nolf plead no contest to one count of first degree murder in the death of Tonya Haight, 24, of Bradford and one count of Involuntary Manslaughter in the death of Haight's three week-old infant daughter. By pleading no contest, Nolf agreed that the Commonwealth could prove the facts alleged if the case went to trial.
According to the McKean County District Attorney's Office: On March 19, 2010, the Defendant, Waide Eugene Nolf was residing at 56 Pleasant Street, City of Bradford, McKean County. Also residing in the residence was Tonya Haight, her husband John J. Haight Jr, their infant daughter Tamara Haight (DOB 02/25/2010), other children of Tonya Haight, another adult couple and their children. Sometime between 3am and 9am, Nolf was in the bathroom located on the first floor of the residence. Tonya Haight entered the bathroom while Nolf was in it, angering the Defendant. Tonya Haight then went into the living room. Nolf finished using the bathroom and walked into the living room. Nolf and Tonya Haight exchanged argumentative words and Nolf then told Haight that he was done in the bathroom. Haight then went into the bathroom, holding the infant Tamara Haight while Nolf was in the kitchen, immediately adjacent to the bathroom. Nolf then entered the bathroom and pushed Tonya Haight into the bathtub, forcing her face to the bottom of the tub. Nolf then turned the water on in the tub and it began to fill. Tonya was still holding Tamara and while being held in the tub was reaching back trying to grab Nolf. Nolf avoided her by standing off to the side where she could not reach. Tonya repeatedly asked Nolf why he was doing this to her when she was so good to him. Nolf held Tonya's head underwater until she stopped moving. Tamara then floated away from Tonya's arms and was also not moving. Nolf left the bathroom, checked to see if John J. Haight was still sleeping, and returned to his bedroom and went to sleep. Later that morning, Nolf woke John J. Haight telling him that he had found Tonya and Tamara dead in the bathtub. Another resident of the home called 911 and EMS was dispatched. Nolf provided police with three separate interviews. In the third interview, he admitted that he had initially lied to the police and that he had in fact killed Tonya but that he did not intend to kill Tamara, and did not realize that Tonya was still holding Tamara until he saw the baby floating. An autopsy was conducted by the Erie County, PA medical examiner, Dr. Eric Vey on both Tonya and Tamara Haight. The autopsy revealed that Tonya suffered a tear to the frenulum of her upper lip, consistent with trauma to her mouth, a loose tooth caused by trauma, contusions to the back of her head and neck consistent with a hand being used to hold her head down, and foam in her lungs. Dr. Vey ruled both victims died as a result of drowning.
Nolf was sentenced to a mandatory term of life in prison without parole in the killing of Tonya Haight and 18 months to 36 months of additional time for the killing of the infant, to run consecutive to the life sentence.
The case was investigated by Officer Chris Lucco the City of Bradford Police department with the Pennsylvania State Police and McKean County District Attorney's Office assisting in the investigation. The case was prosecuted by McKean County District Attorney Raymond Learn.