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Testimony Begins In Trial For 3rd Suspect Accused In Elderly Woman’s Death

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Harold Hayes Harold Hayes
Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment...
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WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — Testimony has begun for the third member of a family charged in connection with the death of a 92-year-old woman in a plot to steal her money.

Former Monongahela Police officer, David J. McClelland, is on trial in Washington County for murder, burglary and conspiracy in the death of Evelyn Stepko two years ago in California, Pa.

His father, David A. McClelland, pleaded guilty to killing Stepko, and his stepmother, Diane, was convicted of conspiracy.

During opening statements, prosecutor Michael Lucas told the jury the younger McClelland should be convicted.

“She’s 92-years-old and you’ve got to ask why,” he said. “The why is greed.”

“Not only did he get a car, a house and a deck,” from the stolen money said Lucas, “he got well over $50,000 in cash.”

“Under the burglary laws, if you’re a partner in the scheme and the victim gets killed, you’re responsible for felony murder. There was an agreement to steal and lie about her death,” Lucas added.

But defense attorney Josh Camson told the jury his client will eventually take the stand in his own defense, and although he took some of the money, he told his father he should stop stealing from Stepko.

“My client will get up on that stand and tell you he didn’t conspire to commit murder or burglary. He will say he’s guilty of receiving stolen property,” said Camson.

Dolores Sprowls, the victim’s niece, told reporters this afternoon it was difficult to look at a picture presented to the jury of Evelyn Stepko as she was discovered dead in the basement of her home.

She’d been stabbed twice in the neck.

“I’d never seen that picture before,” said Sprowls. “It was hard to look at because Aunt Evelyn didn’t deserve that.”

Regarding defendant David J. McClelland’s claim that he didn’t know about the conspiracy, Sprowls had a message for him, telling reporters, “You knew what was going on, David as soon as you took the money. You were a police officer. As soon as you saw what was going on you should have called the police.”

RELATED LINKS:
Suspect In Elderly Woman’s Death Waives Hearing (8/10/11)
Jury Finds Woman Accused In Elderly Neighbor’s Murder Guilty On All Counts (3/1/13)
More reports on this case

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