The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

May 10, 2014

State briefs 5/11/2014

Man, car sought in Laurel Mountain death

LAUREL MOUNTAIN – State police have been searching for a man and a vehicle missing from a Westmoreland County residence where a woman was found slain.

The county coroner’s office has scheduled an autopsy for today, though the death of 52-year-old Angela Cavalero already is called a possible homicide.

Investigators aren’t saying why they believe that, but say she was found with unspecified “fatal injuries” at a residence in Laurel Mountain about 10 p.m. Friday.

A man who lived in the house hasn’t been located, but police believe he may be driving a dark blue 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis. The car has numerous religious bumper stickers and Pennsylvania license plate JGT7999.

Police so far are not naming the man. They say he’s a person of interest, but should be considered dangerous.

Husband runs over wife with boat trailer

BUFFALO MILLS – State police said a central Pennsylvania woman is dead after her husband accidentally ran over her with a pontoon boat trailer he was pulling with his pickup truck.

Troopers said the incident happened early Saturday in Juniata Township, Huntingdon County.

They’re not releasing her husband’s name, but police said the dead woman is 53-year-old Jill Skethway.

Police said the couple was trying to keep water from gathering in the boat during heavy rains. As Skethway’s husband tried to move the boat, he was unaware that she had crawled underneath to avoid the rain herself.

No alcohol or drugs were involved, police said.

Jury convicts stepdad of less serious charge  

UNIONTOWN – A man has been convicted of reckless endangerment for driving his stepson’s motorcycle off the road but acquitted of the more serious charge of aggravated assault.

A Fayette County jury reached the decision Friday in the case of 46-year-old Timothy Rockwell. He was charged in the April 2012 crash that injured 37-year-old Alan Rockwell Jr. of Uniontown.

During the trial, the judge dismissed a charge of attempted homicide for lack of evidence.

The defendant is the victim’s stepfather but was first his uncle. The defendant married Alan Rockwell’s mother after she divorced the defendant’s brother.

When the crash occurred, the defendant was having an affair with Alan Rockwell’s wife.

Murder suspect freed after 2 years in jail

PHILADELPHIA – A man jailed for more than two years on charges he killed the owner of a check-cashing store during a robbery will soon be freed after prosecutors agreed that his alibi checked out.

Philadelphia prosecutors dropped the capital murder charges Friday against Eric Locke, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported

Locke had been awaiting trial on charges he robbed and shot 53-year-old Joel Blumer, of Holland, Bucks County, on March 3, 2012. Blumer, a married father of two, was opening his B&R Check Cashing store in Philadelphia just before 9 a.m.

Police took the word of a wit­ness who later testified at a pre­liminary hearing that he heard a gunshot and saw Locke run past, then return and pick up a bag Blumer had.

But Locke insisted he was in Williamsport visiting his children’s mother that morning.

Now, Assistant District Attorney Jude Conroy said the phone records and a witness who drove Locke 180 miles to Philadelphia later that day support Locke’s claims.

The charges have been dropped without prejudice, meaning prosecutors can recharge Locke if other evidences emerges linking him to the crime.

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