Pa. heroin addict to trial in mom’s hammer death

February 20, 2014

EXPORT, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania heroin addict has been ordered to stand trial on charges she murdered her mother by hitting the woman with a hammer and strangling her after the victim refused to let the suspect borrow her car to go and buy drugs.

Twenty-five-year-old Sara Vercauteren, of Salem Township, was ordered to stand trial after her recorded confession to state police was played at a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Vercauteren was charged Jan. 10 with killing her mother, 51-year-old Dawn Marie Wagner, a day after the woman’s body was found in her mobile home. But police believe Vercauteren killed her mother Dec. 31 after they argued about the car.

Vercauteren was already jailed on charges she robbed a PNC Bank in McKeesport on Jan. 7 when police charged her in her mother’s death.



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