JEANNETTE, Pa. - Prosecutors claim a woman on trial for allegedly beating her boyfriend to death with a shovel at a home in Jeannette in 2016 tried to cover it up.
According to Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE, retired Westmoreland County Detective Hugh Shearer testified Monday he found evidence an effort was made to clean blood from walls and the kitchen floor. However, he could not say when or how the blood got there.
Crystal Belle is accused of using shoe laces and packing tape to tie up her boyfriend, 19-year-old Khalil Parker, before bludgeoning him with a snow shovel, investigators said.
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The shovel was found in nine pieces in two rooms, and Shearer said the pattern of broken pieces at its end section matched a wound above Parker’s eye, TribLIVE reported.
Shearer told jurors it appeared a cleaning agent, such as bleach, was used in an attempt to sanitize the scene, according to TribLIVE.
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Belle’s defense team is claiming self-defense, saying the couple was having sex when things got out of hand and she had to protect herself.
Defense attorney Brian Aston suggested remnants of the blood found on the kitchen floor could have been from spilled uncooked meat, TribLIVE reported. He also suggested other areas of blood might have been from an incident a week earlier that led to Parker going to a hospital.
The prosecution will continue to present its case against Belle when her first-degree murder trial reconvenes Tuesday. They allege Belle killed Parker during a violent rage, fearful he was going to leave her, TribLIVE reported.
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