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Wecht Testifies In Loyalhanna Triple-Murder Case

By: Trina Orlando
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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Testimony continued Monday in the trial of a man accused of killing three of his family members.

A pathologist testified that whoever shot the women in a Loyalhanna triple-murder intended to kill them.

Dr. Cyril Wecht said Doris Murphy, Kris Murphy and Edith Tietge all died of gunshot wounds to the head.

Kris Murphy was shot three times in the back of the head from more than two feet away. She had significant injury to both her brain and her skull shattered from the force of the bullets. Wecht said she would have been unconscious immediately.

Tietge was shot once in the back of the head from less than eight inches away. She also would have been unconscious immediately given the location of the shot. Tietge also had bruises on her arms as if someone grabbed her.

Doris Murphy was shot twice in the side of the head. One shot was fired from more than two feet away skimmed her head and missed. A second shot fired from less than eight inches away went through her ear cartilage and into her skull. Doris Murphy’s injuries would have allowed her to remain conscious for some time before dying about 15-minutes later. Wecht said she would have suffered greatly during the period she was conscious.

Wecht said there were no signs of a struggle with any of the women. The bruising on their bodies was consistent with having fallen after being shot.

There is no way for Wecht to tell in what order the women were shot. It’s also not clear if they were moving or standing still at the time they were shot.

Jurors were also shown graphic autopsy photos of the gunshot wounds. Kevin Murphy, who has been very attentive during trial, did not look up when the photos were shown. The judge gave the jury specific instructions to not allow graphic nature of photos to cause emotions that would cloud their judgment of the facts.

Wecht said all gunshot wounds are consistent with having been caused by the gun found at the scene.

Also testifying today were two state police troopers who investigated the scene.

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