Jurors in Loyalhanna Twp. triple-murder trial shown murder weapon as testimony continues



PITTSBURGH - Testimony continued Tuesday in the trial for an auto glass shop owner charged with murdering his mother, sister and an elderly aunt in Westmoreland County four years ago.

The defense attorney for 52-year-old Kevin Murphy says his client has a simple defense: He didn't do it.

Defense attorney Robert Bell said Monday that Murphy was close to the women, all three of whom helped him at his business, where they were found shot dead on April 23, 2009.

Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said Murphy shot his mother, 69-year-old Doris Murphy, his 43-year-old sister Kris Murphy and his aunt, 81-year-old Edith Tietge, because they didn't approve of his romance with a married woman.

But Bell said Murphy was so upset when his uncle found the women slain at the glass shop that he couldn't even call 911 and speak properly.

Murphy’s former friend and employee, Donald Schondelmeier, testified against him Tuesday. Schondelmeier was the only employee not related to the Murphy family, and the only one still alive following the 2009 murders.

The jury visited the alleged crime scene Monday, where police pointed out items of importance, including an office cabinet where Murphy allegedly kept the gun. Jurors got a look at the murder weapon as part of forensic testimony Tuesday.

The jury was also shown on Monday a nearby farm where Murphy said he was feeding cows during the time the murders took place.

“I think the jury can get a better sense of what has taken place, and who was doing what at that time, if they walk to the farms, if they see the distance and see what has taken place in the business as well,” said Bell, who requested the trip on Murphy’s behalf.

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