Judge: Three convicts to pay restitution

  • By Mike Jones April 24, 2014
David Allen McClelland is escorted to Washington County Courthouse in this 2012 photo. - Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

The three people convicted in the conspiracy to rob and kill their 92-year-old California neighbor in July 2011 were ordered to pay $215,820 in restitution to the estate of Evelyn Stepko.

Washington County Judge Debbie O’Dell Seneca ruled Thursday that Stepko’s estate is entitled to the judgment from members of the McClelland family, who must turn over any of their assets to be liquidated to pay the restitution.

The judgment follows a previous order from O’Dell Seneca April 8 that their three vehicles, a 2009 Lincoln Navigator, 2007 Pontiac G6 and 2002 Cadillac STS, be transferred from state police evidence to the estate.

David A. McClelland, 59, admitted to stabbing Stepko to death and pleaded guilty in October 2012 to first-degree murder.

He received a life sentence without parole.

His son, D.J. McClelland, 39, a former part-time police officer, was convicted in April 2013 of second-degree murder, receiving stolen property, dealing in unlawful proceeds of criminal activity and conspiracy. He also received a life sentence.

David A. McClelland’s wife, Diane McClelland, 51, was convicted in March 2013 of conspiracy and receiving stolen property in connection with the burglaries and thefts preceding Stepko’s death, and was sentenced to 24½ to 49 years. She is appealing her conviction.

None of the three defendants attended either proceeding or sent legal representation to contest the judgments.

David Posner, who represented Donna Lee, the executor of Stepko’s estate, during the proceedings, said any cash and assets from the McClellands must be surrendered to pay the restitution.

The cars will be sold, and the McClellands’ School Street home in California Borough will be turned over and likely sold at a sheriff’s sale.

“The fruits of the crime is what remained in their possession and control,” Posner said.

No evidence was presented before O’Dell Seneca’s orders because the restitution already was set during the criminal proceedings against the three defendants.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and Patch.com. He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.


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