Trial for man accused of 1999 killing of ex-wife in Bethel Park delayed again

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A trial scheduled to start today for a man accused of killing his ex-wife in Bethel Park in 1999 has been delayed again.

For the fourth time, John Minch has gotten a new attorney.

This time, though, public defender Matt Dugan will serve as stand-by counsel as the man represents himself.

That was the arrangement with Mr. Minch's most recent attorney, Patrick Thomassey, as well. But the two men had such difficulty working together that Mr. Thomassey last week asked Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning to allow him to withdraw from the case.

Mr. Minch, who wasn't arrested until 2009 when prosecutors matched a hair found at the crime scene to him, is accused of killing Melissa Groot, 29.

The trial is now scheduled for jury selection on Aug. 27, with opening statements to begin Sept. 3.

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Paula Reed Ward: or 412-263-2620. First Published June 24, 2013 12:15 AM


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