The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

May 18, 2013

Defense attorney: Woman’s death an accident

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A defense attorney for a Blair County man charged with homicide in the 1999 death of his daughter-in-law said the woman’s death was accidental.

Prosecutors say 65-year-old Kenneth Leighty of Altoona led authorities in Huntingdon County to the remains of 23-year-old Sherry Leighty on his property last weekend.

Defense attorney Thomas Hooper told the Altoona Mirror that he believes the case will be resolved with a charge lower than first-degree murder.

Leighty has been jailed since Altoona police tried to question him last month about the woman’s disappearance, but police said he instead fought with officers and was arrested.  

His request for lower bail on aggravated assault and related charges was put on hold Friday due to the homicide charge.

State police and other investigators began searching the

150-acre tract Kenneth Leighty owns in Warriors Mark Township, Huntingdon County, on April 20, the day after he was jailed.

The woman’s husband – the defendant’s son, Aaron – told investigators he at first believed she might have run off to Maine with another man. Aaron Leighty said he began to doubt that when Sherry Leighty, whose divorce from him was finalized days after she was last seen, didn’t contact their children in subsequent weeks, months and years.

Huntingdon County District Attorney George Zanic said investigators have looked into whether Kenneth Leighty may have had a romantic interest in his daughter-in-law, but

wouldn’t say if that related to her death.

To read stories in their entirety, visit one of these links:

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide