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Trial of third relative opens in murder case

on April 04, 2013 10:30 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The attorney for a former police officer charged with helping to plan the killing of an elderly western Pennsylvania neighbor says jurors may condemn his client for accepting stolen money, but he didn’t conspire to commit murder.

Trial opened Wednesday in Washington County for David James McClelland, 37. His father, David Allen McClelland, pleaded guilty to stabbing Evelyn Stepko, 92, to death at her Coal Center home in July 2011. The defendant’s stepmother, Diane McClelland, was convicted of conspiracy.

Prosecutors say the father stole about $215,000 over a two-year span, and other relatives helped spend the money.

Assistant District Attorney Mike Lucas referred to the saying “in for a dime, in for a dollar.” He told jurors that “in this case ... it was in for thousands, in for murder.”

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