A Henryville man obsessed with mold growing in his house was mentally ill when he gunned down a township official sitting at his desk inside the Paradise Township building in 2018, a Monroe County judge ruled Monday.


David Green's mental health status was determined as part of a guilty plea to third-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Michael Tripus, a part-time enforcement officer who died Nov. 27, 2018, minutes after he arrived for work.


Police were never able to determine why Green, 74, of Henryville, walked into the township building that day, armed with a semi-automatic handgun tucked in his coat pocket, and shot Tripus in the chest at close range.


Tripus, who had just entered his office and was starting his day, died at the scene. After fatally shooting Tripus Green placed the gun on the desk and waited for police to arrive, said Michael Mancuso, the first assistant district.


Mancuso said in a news release Green had never met or even spoken to Tripus before the deadly encounter in his office.


The only thing that connected the two was something that happened about a year earlier, Mancuso said, when Tripus left a notice at a property on Sugarbush Road owned by Green in Pocono Township as part of his employment there.


During his interviews with police after the slaying Green talked about mold in the house that he thought was harming him, Mancuso said.


" He described the lengths he went to in order to clean up the mold but felt that nothing he did was effective," Mancuso said.


Mancuso said mental health evaluations performed at the request of the defense determined Green was competent to stand trial and not insane.


However, Mancuso said, Green was found to be suffering from a "delusional disorder of the somatic type," a condition described in court as a ‘false but fixed belief" that mold was harming him and he could not correct it.


Green was also found to be suffering from a mild cognitive impairment, and some kind of pre-dementia condition, Mancuso said.


Green is facing 20 to 40 years in prison at sentencing before President Judge Margherita Worthington, Mancuso said. He said the prosecution is seeking the maximum sentence in light of the danger Green poses to the community..