Police: Beaver County bride shoots, kills niece after celebration

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A newlywed spent her wedding night in police custody after she fatally shot her niece while they were celebrating Thursday, authorities in New Brighton, Beaver County, said.

Christina George, 30, of Conway is in the Beaver County Jail on charges of homicide and related crimes in the death of Katelyn "Kaytee" Francis, 21, of Fairmont, W.Va.

Ms. Francis, a young mother, suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen and was flown by medical helicopter to UPMC Presbyterian, where she died early Friday morning, borough police said.

She, Ms. George and Ms. George's new husband, Jeremy Harvan, were out drinking and celebrating the couple's wedding, when the three got into an argument about who was going to drive Mr. Harvan's truck because he was drunk, police said in a news release.

Officers went to the parking lot next to Jimmy K's Bar and Grille at 911 11th Ave. about 9:52 p.m. for a report of a gunshot and arrested Ms. George there.

Police believe she shot her niece with a 9 mm Glock pistol owned by Mr. Harvan, who told police his wife got the handgun out of the center console of his truck and fired, hitting Ms. Francis in the abdomen. Ms. George told police she discharged the gun, they wrote in the complaint.

Mr. Harvan could not be reached. A woman who answered the phone at the bar took a reporter's message for the owner, who did not return the call.

Deanna Chenoweth, Ms. Francis' friend and former co-worker, said she worked as a cashier at the Shop 'n Save grocery in Fairmont until about February.

A single mother, Ms. Francis was raising her son, Kody -- who friends said was 4 or 5 years old.

"He was her whole world. She always talked about him," she said.

Another friend, Megan Wilson, said she and Ms. Francis were at the Festival of Colors last weekend in Pittsburgh and Ms. Francis had mentioned having to make the trip again in a few days for her aunt's wedding.

Ms. Wilson recalled her friend saying "I don't know how things are going to turn out," but she didn't know whether that indicated that she expected a conflict.

"She is a truly amazing person, always smiling, always fun-loving," Ms. Wilson said of the friend she met at OIC Training Academy, where they studied pharmacy technology. "We always had a great time together. We shared our deepest, darkest secrets."

Ms. Francis' manner of death was homicide and the cause was a single gunshot wound to the abdomen, according to the Beaver County coroner.

New Brighton police did not return calls seeking additional information Friday.

Ms. George did not have an attorney listed in online court records.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday.


Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944. First Published April 25, 2014 5:58 AM


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