Diane McClelland guilty of conspiracy, receiving stolen property

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After deliberating a complex case for just under three hours Friday, a Washington County jury found a Coal Center resident guilty of conspiracy and receiving stolen property in connection with the homicide of a 92-year-old neighbor.


Diane McClelland, 50, was shackled and taken to the Washington County jail to await sentencing within 90 days in connection with the July 2011 stabbing death of Evelyn Stepko, who kept thousands of dollars of cash in her home.


McClelland, who did not testify in her weeklong trial, laid her head on a courtrooom table before sheriff’s deputies escorted her from the courtroom of Judge John DiSalle.


Her attorney, Brian Gorman, declined comment as he left the second floor of the courthouse.


First Assistant District Michael Lucas said he was “very satisfied” with the verdict, which included criminal conspiracy with four components: homicide, burglary, dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity and theft; plus a separate count of receiving stolen property.


McClelland’s husband, David A. McClelland, 57, pleaded guilty in October to first-degree murder and received a life sentence without possibility of parole. Her stepson, David J. McClelland, a former part-time police officer for Washington Township, Fayette County, is scheduled for trial in April.


Read more in Saturday’s Observer-Reporter.


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