The former Washington County police officer accused of having a role in the killing of a 92-year-old woman was found guilty on all counts Tuesday, making him the third and final family member to be convicted in connection with her death.
David J. McClelland, 38, was found guilty of second-degree murder in the July 2011 death of Evelyn Stepko, in addition to charges of receiving stolen property, conspiracy to commit homicide and dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activities.
The 12-member jury at the Washington County Courthouse reached its decision in less than three hours and, one by one, told Judge John F. DiSalle they agreed with the verdict read by the jury forewoman.
Mr. McClelland's stepmother, Diane McClelland, 50, was convicted last month of conspiracy. She will be sentenced sometime before June.
Mr. McClelland's father, David A. McClelland, 58, was sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to first-degree murder and other charges last fall.
David McClelland's face was expressionless but flushed as he looked forward when the verdict was read, his eyes glassy.
A woman wept behind them.
The younger McClelland, once a police officer in Monongahela and Washington Township, Fayette County, was taken by sheriff's deputies to the Washington County Correctional Facility.
"Obviously he was upset. The verdict didn't go the way we hoped it would," said his attorney, Josh Camson.
Mr. Camson said his client plans to appeal on the grounds of sufficiency of evidence and other legal issues, and said he wouldn't have defended his case any differently.
Mr. McClelland will be sentenced within 90 days before Judge DiSalle and faces a mandatory term of life in prison on the second-degree murder charge.
Stepko's niece, Dolores Sprowls, of Charleroi, said she plans to attend both forthcoming sentencings and was relieved at Tuesday's verdict.
"I'm happy, the family's happy. We're glad that all three of them got what they deserved," she said.
Ms. Sprowls reiterated that, as a police officer, Mr. McClelland should have turned his father in for the thefts, which would have spared his career and her aunt's life.
"He was a cop, and a cop is supposed to protect people," she said.
Mr. McClelland was accused of conspiring with his father to burglarize Stepko's home, making him responsible for her death, prosecutors said, even though no physical evidence they presented linked him to the crime scene.
In his closing remarks, Washington County First Assistant District Attorney Michael Lucas said evidence showed he partnered with his father to burglarize Stepko, a widow, which led to her stabbing death.
"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."
David 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 of dollars in her Coal Center home and was the victim of multiple burglaries over two years.
Mr. 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.
Molly Born: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1944 or on Twitter @borntolede.