PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One of the suspects accused of beating and tying up a woman during a home invasion in Westmoreland County went on trial Tuesday.
During opening arguments, Deputy District Attorney Karen Patterson went over point by point the alleged storming of then-91-year-old Francis Tekavec’s Rostraver home in October of 2014.
When it was the suspect’s turn to address the jury, 47-year-old Gregory Howard, who is acting as his own attorney, attacked the credibility of the evidence and Patterson.
Howard told the panel: “If you believe the evidence you gotta believe in the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. She (referring to Patterson) hopes and prays she can deceive you. She wants to engage in dirty business. She’s got nothing to get me with. She’s got nothing to get me with.”
Meanwhile, Tekavec testified how she was tied up inside her bedroom during the robbery and how she was positive Howard was the man who did it.
“No doubt, no doubt. I picked him out; I can tell by his voice,” she said. “I can tell by his eyes without the hood on.”
Laughing at Tekavec’s testimony, gesturing wildly, and at times, walking aimlessly about the courtroom, Howard drew the ire of Judge Rita Hathaway.
Hathaway said to Howard: “Don’t argue with this 92-year-old woman. Stand in front of the podium and don’t walk toward my deputies or speak to the jury directly. You chose to represent yourself. I’m not here to teach you the law.”
For her part, Tekavec says, to a point, she feels sorry for Howard and the other accused in her assault and robbery.
“I hope he gets a good stiff sentence,” said Tekavec. “I’m at the end of my road; they have a life time to go, enough time to think things over if they have a brain in their head.”
Testimony from prosecution witnesses is expected to continue Wednesday.