Handyman pleads guilty in Washington County murder

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A Washington County man pleaded guilty late Monday to first-degree murder in the slaying of a 92-year-old woman.

David Allen McClelland, 57, of Coal Center, was sentenced to a mandatory term of life in prison without parole plus 21 to 42 years for additional charges of burglary, robbery and conspiracy by Washington County Common Pleas Judge John F. DiSalle.

McClelland was scheduled to go to trial Tuesday for killing Evelyn Stepko, whose body was found July 18, 2011, inside her Coal Center home.

McClelland had previously worked as a handyman for Ms. Stepko for nearly two years.

According to the prosecution, he began stealing from her, taking large amounts of cash that she kept in her home and using it to buy cars, guns and property.

She was stabbed to death and found in her home after neighbors became concerned that they hadn't seen her.

Also charged in the case is McClelland's wife, Diane, and his son, David James McClelland, who was a Washington Township police officer.

David James McClelland, 27, is charged with homicide and conspiracy, while his mother is charged with receiving stolen property, conspiracy and hindering apprehension.

Jury selection in their case is scheduled to begin on Nov. 26.

neigh_washington


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