Mother accused of fatally stabbing 5-year-old daughter

Hendersonville, North Carolina: Officers responded to a residence within a mobile home community at approximately 8:45 am on Sunday, April 25, on a report of a stabbing.


Upon arrival, officers found a 5-year-old girl that had died from apparent stab wounds.


During the course of the investigation it was determined that the girl's mother, 50-year-old Penny Short Hartle was the believed perpetrator. She has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. She is being held without bond.


Hartle was scheduled to make her first appearance in court today, but waived that appearance. She has been appointed an attorney and her court date will be rescheduled for some time within the next 15 days.


WLOS employees on the scene noted at least five different locations marked by crime scene tape outside of several different residences. What investigators had taken note of in those locations was not disclosed.


Neighbors spoke with KTVZ and disclosed that earlier in the morning Hartle had gone into a neighbor's home and got into a bed. That neighbor contacted Joe Coch and described the events.


Coch told KTVZ that he had then gone to that residence to try to get Hartle to awake and leave but, "She wouldn't wake up.  A few minutes later she came out and got in a truck and sat down in it. It looked like she was shredding paper. Her hands were kind of shaking and she acted like she didn't know who she was."