CALIFORNIA BOROUGH (KDKA) — One of the two men accused in connection with the death of an elderly woman in Washington County has been held for trial.
David A. McClelland, 56, is facing criminal homicide charges in the stabbing death of 92-year-old Evelyn Stepko last week. A preliminary hearing was held in court today. McClelland’s son is also facing charges in the incident.
Stepko’s body was found when a neighbor called police to check on her.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes reports that a state trooper testified during today’s hearing that David A. McClelland told him various accounts of how Stepko died.
“The statements varied from her starting an attack on him with a knife to eventually there being some confrontation, struggle and her obtaining a knife,” Michael Lucas, a prosecutor, said. “However, none of those statements explained why she had two stab wounds.”
“And what can be safely said based upon the testimony today is that those statements were inconsistent with regard to how she met her death, but were consistent that David A. McClelland was the one who caused that death,” he added.
In one account, the trooper testified that the defendant said he went into the house to get money and Stepko surprised him by coming at him with a knife. He sidestepped her, she fell down the steps and the knife entered her neck during the fall.
In another version, the trooper testified that McClelland said they struggled, she threw him down the steps, and once he recovered the knife ended up in her neck during a struggle.
The trooper says McClelland told him he started stealing from her two years ago, admitting he once stole $31,000, and then $6,000 on another occasion.
His son, David J. McClelland, faces a preliminary hearing next week.