WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — The final court case involving the death of an elderly Coal Center woman was bound to be emotional and it was. Paramedics were called to the courtroom for one of the defendants.
With a weak voice, Diane McClelland had just told the family of the victim she was “very, very sorry,” and then she collapsed in the courtroom. The family of the victim thought it was an act.
“She said she was sorry, but she wouldn’t look us in the face. She was looking down as though she was looking at where she was going to fall,” said the victim’s niece, Dolores Sprowls.
But when Diane McClelland recovered, she was sentenced to 24 1/2 to 49 years in prison for her conviction on charges including conspiracy to commit homicide.
The judge said she was in on the scheme to steal from 92-year-old Evelyn Stepko, who was killed by McClelland’s husband, David A. McClelland.
Diane’s stepson, David J. McClelland, a former police officer, claimed he didn’t know much about where his father got all that money. A jury and the judge disagreed.
He got life in prison for his conviction on second-degree murder.
“She should have got more because she was the puppeteer,” said Sprowls. “But he got what he deserved because he was a police officer. He could have stopped all of this because he was a policeman.”
David A. McClelland is already serving life in prison for murder, and all three defendants have been ordered to come up with $215,000. It’s the money prosecutors say was stolen from Stepko.
Jury Finds Woman Accused In Elderly Neighbor’s Murder Guilty On All Counts (3/1/13)
McClelland Found Guilty Of Second-Degree Murder (4/9/13)
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