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Centre County Man Receives Life Sentence

A Centre County man who was convicted in the 2016 shooting death of a Pine Grove Mills woman received a life sentence Wednesday.

Christopher Kowalski was found guilty but mentally ill in November in the death of 61-year-old Jean Tuggy.

Throughout Kowalski’s trial, his defense argued for an insanity plea but was ultimately convicted on the sole count of first degree murder.

Early on in the case, a police detective testified that Kowalski admitted to shooting Jean Tuggy “in cold blood” inside her Pine Grove Mills home in January of 2016.

Investigators say the two were reportedly friends, and according to the police testimony, Kowalski said on the day of the shooting he brought tea to drink as he termed it “bait” to get invited into Tuggy’s home.

Police say Kowalski stated that he had contemplated killing her for months, that he had thought about it long enough, and “it was time to get the job done.”

Tuggy’s murder went unsolved for over five years until Kowalski was arrested in South Carolina in February of 2021.

Officials say Kowalski will continue to receive mental health treatments while in prison.

His defense says there are no plans to appeal his sentence.

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