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Carol-singing burglar accidentally shoots himself in leg

Fri Jan 7, 5:01 PM ET Crimes and Trials - Court TV

By Tinuola Awopetu, Court TV

(Court TV) - A home burglar with a fondness for holiday tunes will have to sing them in prison.

Paul K. Hardy allegedly broke into a couple's home on New Year's Eve, held them hostage at gunpoint and forced them to play the piano while he sang Christmas tunes, according to police in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Sgt. John Sherman said Hardy, 40, gained entrance into the home by scaling a ladder and entering through a rear door on the second-floor balcony. The homeowners were downstairs watching television when the burglar confronted them with one of their own handguns and forced them to give him money and a bag for the other guns he had stolen.

The burglary then turned into a holiday musical.

Hardy reportedly noticed a piano in the home and ordered the male homeowner to play the instrument.

"He told them he wanted to hear Christmas music," Sgt. Sherman said. "While the man played, [Hardy] sang 'Silent Night,' 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,' and 'O Little Town of Bethlehem.'"

The holiday carols appeared to have put the burglar in a giving mood - Sgt. Sherman said Hardy offered to order pizza for his hostages. They declined.

Hardy began to unload his handgun and, in the process, accidentally shot himself in the leg. The couple dialed 911. When officers arrived, they found Hardy lying on the couch with the stolen money, guns, and a hatchet.

The caroling burglar was treated at a local hospital and then taken to the Eastern Regional Jail, where police charged him with burglary, wanton endangerment and armed robbery. He's being held on $95,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 10.
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