Beaver County newlywed to stand trial in death of niece

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A judge today ordered a Beaver County newlywed to stand trial on charges she fatally shot her niece during a wedding celebration last week.

Christina Nicole George, 30, of Conway is being held in the Beaver County Jail without bond on charges of homicide and related crimes in the death of Katelyn "Kaytee" Francis, 21, of Fairmont, W.Va., on April 25. Ms. George was ordered held for trial at a preliminary hearing today.

Ms. Francis, Ms. George and Ms. George's new husband, Jeremy Harvan, were out drinking at Jimmy K's Bar and Grille in New Brighton and celebrating the couple's wedding the evening of April 24, when the three got into an argument and shots were fired, police said. The argument was over who was going to drive Mr. Harvan's truck because he was drunk, police said.

Ms. George's attorney, Stephen Colafella, said his client, a registered nurse who had a "very good" relationship with her niece, handled the gun and that it went off accidentally. He also said the three were discussing who should drive, but were not arguing.

"My client is absolutely devastated over the whole incident. ... It went from being a celebration to a nightmare," he said.

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 the next morning, police said.

First Published May 2, 2014 3:06 PM


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