Washington Co. Assistant D.A. On Domestic Violence Victim: ‘I Was Afraid For Her’

D.A. Says Case Involving Kidnapped Woman ‘Might Have Been A Preventable Tragedy'

WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — The Washington County District Attorney’s Office says there will be an investigation after a woman allegedly abducted by her husband was later found dead in a barn in West Finley Township.

With previous abuse documented and Protection from Abuse Orders on file, the Washington County D.A. now says he is looking closer into the case.

It had been a day long search for 48-year-old Tierne Ewing and her husband, 47-year-old Kevin Ewing. According to state police, Kevin kidnapped his wife at gunpoint nearly 24 hours earlier at a home in West Finley.

Both were later found inside a barn. Police say Kevin allegedly shot and killed his wife, then shot himself in the head. He remains on life support at a Pittsburgh hospital.

The Washington County Coroner and Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Offices reported late Wednesday afternoon that they’ve been advised that Kevin Ewing is brain dead. He will remain on a ventilator while organ donation is considered. An autopsy is pending.

“He threatened her all the time, he beat her several times,” said Richard Kopko, Tierne’s father. “I tried to get her away; I don’t know what the deal was. Well, it’s over now.”

But, according to the Washington County District Attorney, it might not be over.

“This appears that it might have been a preventable tragedy,” said Eugene Vittone, the Washington County D.A.

Police say this was not the first time Tierne had been abused by her husband. Last month, he allegedly kidnapped and held her hostage for 12 days while torturing her. All of it documented.

KDKA’s Brenda Waters: “Can you say at this time if someone did drop the ball?”

Vittone: “Not until we’ve reviewed all the facts. I can assure you that what we will be doing in the days and weeks to come is that we’re going to be conducting a comprehensive review of what occurred here.”

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Kristin Clingerman, an assistant D.A. in Washington County, is familiar with Ewing’s case.

Clingerman: “I was afraid for her.”

Waters: “Did you think, I knew this was going to happen?”

Clingerman: “I thought it could happen. It was, definitely the potential was there.”

It was Clingerman who filed a motion in July after Ewing’s arrest, asking Judge Gary Gilman to increase Ewing’s $100,000 straight bond. But the judge refused.

Ewing was required to wear an ankle bracelet, which investigators say he cut off on Monday and the device failed to signal authorities. The D.A.’s Office says that too will be a part of the investigation.

More from Brenda Waters

One Comment

  1. David Colton says:

    This was a complete failure of the court system in Washington County. Sadly, IF the ankle monitor had done IT’S job & notified someone that it had been cut off…this might have been prevented.
    IMO PFA’s are just worthless. All they do is make money for the system-period! They serve as a zero deterrent to someone who really wants to get their victim, (male or female.) The law needs to be changed where when you have a PFA filed (and granted) against someone, that person needs to someway be checked electronically every hour as to their whereabouts. Hell, your cell phone gets “pinged” every 15-18 minutes by your cell carrier-to know where your phone is. Why can’t these “bracelets” be made to do the same thing?
    We got to do something. As the current monitoring system (AND PFA’S) just are NOT getting er done! And another victim is dead.

  2. Ron Hampe says:

    Judges who ignore the viciousness of a crime and the threat of additional violence when setting low bonds and handing down lenient sentences need to be immediately removed from the bench pending an investigation and tried for aiding and abetting these monsters.

  3. Husband beats her for years. She gets a PFA. Check. Kidnaps her for two weeks, nearly kills her. She gets another PFA. He gets out on bond, on house arrest. Check. Cuts off his ankle bracelet, forces his wife into a car, and 24 hours later he kills her. Check. “Protection From Abuse”? I don’t think so.

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