The former police officer accused of conspiring with his father to burglarize the home of a 92-year-old widow, resulting in her death, was found guilty on all counts today by a Washington County jury.
David J. McClelland, 38, was convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2011 death of Evelyn Stepko as well as receiving stolen property, conspiracy to commit homicide and dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity.
Mr. McClelland, once a police officer in Monongahela and Washington Township, Fayette County, was placed in handcuffs inside the courtroom and taken by sheriff's deputies to the Washington County Correctional Facility.
He will be sentenced within 90 days before Judge John F. DiSalle and faces a mandatory term of life in prison.
Attorneys this morning presented their closing arguments in the trial.
First Assistant District Attorney Michael Lucas said evidence presented across four days showed the former police officer partnered with his father to burglarize widow.
"He's not some foolish kid," he said. "He is a trained police officer who took an oath to uphold the very laws that he and his father were breaking at the expense of Evelyn Stepko."
Mr. McClelland testified in his own defense Monday, denying a role in the thefts but admitting to accepting cash his father stole from Stepko, who stashed tens of thousands in her Coal Center home and was the victim of multiple burglaries across two years.
Defense attorney Josh Camson said in his closing remarks that to be guilty his client must have had a firm, shared understanding with his father that a crime was to be committed -- and that he cannot be convicted because he knew what someone else had planned.
Mr. Camson likened the efforts to assign guilt to his client to molding gray clay into a red bowl.
"No matter how much they show you, it's never going to be a red bowl," he said.
Moly Born: email@example.com, 412-263-1944 or on Twitter @borntolede. First Published April 9, 2013 12:15 AM