Lancaster man charged in wife’s death had five pending charges, records show

James Alman
James Alman

The Lancaster man charged in the murder of his wife, who was found dead in her home Sunday, was on bond for five previous charges, court records show.

James Matthew Alman, 49, has been charged with murder. Lancaster police said in a statement they believe Alman used a framing hammer to beat 58-year-old Mildred Burris Arnold to death. The hammer was found in the South York Street home covered in blood and hair.

Arnold’s daughter, April Moseley, said she and her younger sister found her mother and called the police.

They knew Arnold and Alman had disagreements, but never thought anything like this could happen, Moseley said.

“I don’t know if I could have done anything different to save her,” she said. “I’ve offered her before to move in here when they would have problems. I didn’t know the amount of problems but I did offer for her to come live with me.”

Alman was facing five pending felony charges when arrested Monday on the murder charge, Lancaster County court records show. Alman was arrested on two burglary charges in June, then released on $5,000 bond in July, records show.

Before that in 2016 Alman was charged with drug possession and breaking into a motor vehicle in October 2016 and released on $6,000 bond. Alman also was charged in July 2016 with simple larceny then released on $3,500 bond, court records show.

It is unclear if Alman has contacted a lawyer or applied for a public defender in the murder case. The 6th Circuit Public Defender's Office represents Alman on the other charges.

Arnold was in recovery from drug addiction, and Mosely said she and her mother had developed a strong relationship. She said finding her mother dead in her home was something no daughter should ever experience.

“This was something totally on a whole other level,” Moseley said. “When I left there I had her blood on my hands.”

Hannah Smoot: 803-329-4068