Trial Under Way In 34-Year-Old Charleroi Murder Case
WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — The trial is under way for a man accused of killing his teenage girlfriend nearly 34 years ago and the man convicted of helping to cover up the crime is testifying against him.
Testimony from a key prosecution witness put 54-year-old Robert Urwin at the murder scene. While the DA’s office tries to prove its case, the defense claims Urwin is being framed.
As he was escorted into the courtroom, Urwin repeated the same words he’s been telling police the last 34 years.
“I’m innocent,” he told KDKA-TV.
Urwin is on trial for the 1977 murder of his then 16-year-old girlfriend Mary Gency, also from Charleroi. He and David Davoli were arrested last year after DNA evidence linked them to the murder.
Davoli was recently sentenced to two to four years in prison on lesser charges when he accepted a plea bargain to cooperate with the prosecution’s case against Urwin.
Thursday, Davoli told the judge he was with Urwin and Gency during a night of drugs, sex and alcohol. He claims he saw Urwin hit the girl in the head with a hammer-like object.
“Mr. Davoli’s statement changes as the pressure changes,” Joseph Francis, an attorney for the defense, said. “He initially denied ever knowing the victim, denied ever being with her. Then the more and more he became involved, the more and more his story changed to fit that involvement.”
The Gency and Urwin families are attending the trial. Wanda Urwin, the defendant’s mother, defends her son.
“My son didn’t do this,” she said. “He worked with the detectives for 34 years. We all tried to find out who did this to this girl and he took lie detector tests and hypnosis and passed them and he is innocent.”
Members of the Gency family told KDKA-TV they’re pleased with the progress of the trial and they will make a statement once it’s over.
The defense will state its case on Monday.