Trooper: Diane McClelland knew of one burglary at Stepko residence

March 1, 2013

State police Tpr. Louis Serafini testified Friday morning at the homicide-conspiracy trial of Diane McClelland in Washington County Court that, in an August 2011 interview, the defendant said she knew of one of the burglaries that occurred at the home of Evelyn Stepko, 92, of Coal Center.

Stepko had reported to California police over a two-year period a series of burglaries at her home, where she was found stabbed to death July 18, 2011. Police later found more than $82,000 throughout the house.

McClelland’s husband, David A. McClelland, 57, pleaded guilty in October to first-degree murder and other charges in connection with Stepko’s death and Judge John DiSalle sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

David A. McClelland’s son, David J. McClelland, a former part-time police officer for Washington Township, Fayette County, also faces homicide, conspiracy and receiving stolen property charges.

Under direct examination by First Assistant District Attorney Michael Lucas, Serafini said Diane McClelland waived her right to remain silent or have an attorney present during her two-hour interview with state police on Aug. 22, 2011, at the Belle Vernon barracks.

McClelland’s attorney, Brian Gorman, elicited testimony from Serafini that police have no evidence that Diane McClelland ever stole money from the Stepko residence or acted as a lookout.

Police previously told the jury about the McClellands’ spending sprees and large bank deposits of cash.

Testimony is scheduled to continue Friday afternoon, and it’s possible that the jury could begin deliberating the case later today.



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