Neighbor of slain woman testifies he saw person leave her home

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Thomas James Stover, who with his wife owns Peggy’s Place bar in Coal Center, testified Friday he saw someone leaving the back of Evelyn Stepko’s home at about noon one day in March 2011.


Watching from a front door of the bar about 100 yards away from Stepko’s home, Stover said he at first thought a college student was emptying trash for Stepko.


The person’s face was obscured by a hood, but from a visible hand he could tell the person was white.


“He got behind DJ’s house,” Stover testified, referring to David J. McClelland, 38, a neighbor of Stepko’s who is on trial in Washington County Court for his alleged role in Stepko’s homicide during a robbery in July 2011.


The witness said he called David A. McClelland to warn him of a possible burglar in the neighborhood. David A. McClelland, 58, is the father of the younger McClelland, and pleaded guilty in October to repeatedly burlarizing the 92-year-old woman’s home of large amounts of money and to killing the elderly woman. He is serving life in prison. McClelland’s stepmother, Diane McClelland, has also been found guilty in the homicide.


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