Paul David Puffenburger II

ROMNEY — The Green Spring man who shot his girlfriend and then refused to call 911 until she agreed to lie for him has pled guilty to attempted murder.

Paul David Puffenburger II entered his plea Thursday in Circuit Court, He also pled guilty to a count of wanton endangerment.

Sentencing will be Oct. 10. He faces 3 to 15 years in prison for the attempted murder charge and another 1 to 5 for the endangerment charge.

In May the grand jury charged Puffenburger with 15 counts stemming from the Feb. 13 shooting —attempted murder, 6 counts of wanton endangerment, 6 counts of malicious assault and 2 more of using a firearm during a felony.

In exchange for the 2 guilty pleas the remaining 13 charges were dropped.

A 911 call shortly before 8 p.m. Feb. 13 led sheriff’s deputies, West Virginia State Police and even Romney City Police to Puffenburger’s residence, which is accessed from Donaldson School Road west of Green Spring Valley Road.

Diana Hovatter, his girlfriend, was transported by Hampshire County EMS to Springfield, then flown by helicopter to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia. 

Hovatter initially told first responders the gunshot wounds were self-inflicted.

However, Chief Deputy Nathan Sions said, evidence at the scene did not support her claim.

A cellphone recording captured Puffenburger threatening to shoot Hovatter, followed by the sound of multiple shots.

Then, the recording revealed, Hovatter pled for Puffenburger to call for help, but he refused until she agreed to claim the wounds were self-inflicted.

Puffenburger was taken into custody the next day when deputies executed a warrant on his home at 1717 Green Ridge Drive and found more than 15 grams of marijuana. He was charged with a felony count of possession of a controlled substance.

Then, 5 days later, he was arrested on the shooting charges.

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