MONACA (KDKA) — Gregory Hopkins was a councilman in Bridgewater, but today he’s the defendant in a murder trial. It’s a case that goes back 34 years in Beaver County.

Catherine Janet Walsh was 23-years-old in 1979 when her parents discovered her lifeless body in the bedroom of her Monaca apartment.

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She was face down, her arms were bound and a bandana was tied around her neck. She had been strangled.

There were no witnesses to Walsh’s murder.

But prosecutors told the jury of five men and seven women in opening arguments the key to this case, decades later, was in the DNA preserved from the crime scene.

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The technology would eventually become available to connect the evidence that had been in storage all those years to Hopkins, a man who acknowledges he had been in a relationship with Walsh.

The defense countered in opening statements that there were no other fresh stains found at the initial investigation; the DNA could be based on their ongoing relationship that had recently ended.

Several witnesses that testified this morning told the jury that recounting testimony from 30 years ago is difficult at best.

“You try to put the past behind you and hope that there’s some resolution to this issue, but to remember, it’s very difficult,” said Elaine Deluco, a witness.

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