DERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — The Westmoreland County husband about to go on trial in the strangulation death of his school teacher wife is now also facing a lawsuit.
Rebecca Stahl’s family is now suing him and the bars that allegedly served him.
One of the claims of a lawsuit brought by the family is that an example of negligence is to serve someone liquor while he was already intoxicated.
But it goes further in pointing to the reputation of the suspect.
David Stahl told police his version of events as he was being charged with the murder of his wife, Rebecca, who was a middle school teacher in the Derry Area School District.
A portion of that taped statement was played during his preliminary hearing two years ago.
Stahl: “I’m sorry that it happened… and I miss my lovebird.”
Police: “Who’s your lovebird?”
But investigators say there was no love shown in a violent argument in their Hempfield Township home.
She was strangled and her body was found days later in a wooded area of Unity Township, Westmoreland County.
Her family, though, points fingers at the bars they say he visited before the violent confrontation, including Kow Boy’s Lounge in Whitney, the Whitney Social Club whose liquor license is held by the Whitney Hostetter Volunteer Fire Department in Whitney and the Frontier’s Club in Latrobe.
The family’s lawsuit says on the morning before she was killed, the couple argued, he went to the Kow Boy’s Lounge, came back and argued some more, then went to the Whitney Social Club, and then came back and got into the violent confrontation.
The lawsuit contends Stahl had a reputation of being drunk and abusive.
“Defendant David Stahl is known throughout the community as a drunk, and it is well known that when intoxicated, Mr. Stahl would physically assault and beat his wife, decedent Rebecca Stahl,” reads the suit. “At all times relevant herein, it is foreseeable that when intoxicated defendant David Stahl would physically harm his spouse, Rebecca Stahl.”
Meanwhile, jury selection in the criminal case is scheduled to begin June 16.