Computers being used as evidence in murder trial won't be returned to Greensburg woman
A visiting judge has refused to stay his ruling that allowed a Greensburg woman's computers to be shipped to West Virginia as part of an ongoing murder investigation.
The computers, seized in September from the home of Ruth Tatka, the legal secretary to Westmoreland County Judge John Blahovec, were taken to West Virginia last week.
Police retrieved the computers a day after Senior Judge Daniel Howsare of Bedford County denied a request from Tatka to have the computers returned to her.
Tatka's nephew and his wife were arrested in June by West Virginia police and are being held in jail awaiting trial on murder charges.
Sheriff's deputies in Marion County, W.Va., contend Michael Palmer, 32, and Kristyn Palmer, 30, plotted to kill 62-year-old Earl “Eddie” Wilson on Dec. 11, when he was fatally shot with an AK-47 assault rifle.
West Virginia investigators contend that Michael Palmer, while he was in jail, asked his aunt to rewrite letters and forward the correspondence to his wife, according to court documents filed with the search warrant executed on Sept. 20.
Pennsylvania State Police seized three computers and 33 handwritten letters and envelopes from Tatka's home.
Tatka, 59, has denied she wrote any letters for her nephew, who she maintains is innocent and that he shot his father-in-law in self-defense.
Tatka said on Monday she would not appeal Howsare's ruling.
“I just wanted them to clone the computers here,” Tatka said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Woman shot outside Kennywood Park in West Mifflin
- Locke pitches 8 scoreless innings as Pirates edge Indians
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate
- State-owned universities spend millions in race to snare students
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Innovation enhances Philadelphia’s history as Democrats convene, Pope Francis visits
- Biertempfel: Loss of All-Star paper ballots a blow to nostalgia
- Pirates trust eye test when voting for all-stars
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Indians, July 5, 2015
- Keystone Markers give insights about towns but have fallen victim to time, theft or traffic accidents