Homicide suspect held for trial
A Lemont Furnace woman will stand trial in Fayette County court on criminal homicide charges for a fatal stabbing during an argument at her home.
District Judge Wendy Dennis held Debra Ann Becker, 41, of 237 Turkeyfoot Road, North Union, for court following a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
Becker was charged following a dispute at 7:55 p.m. Dec. 10, when she allegedly stabbed Ronald Alois Mudery Jr., police said. She claims she inadvertently injured Mudery as she tried to stave off an attack from his pit bull and he tried to save the dog, police reported.
Joe Zosky, a paramedic with Uniontown Firemen's Ambulance, testified that while they drove Mudery to the helipad at Uniontown Hospital, he was asked what happened, and he answered, "She stabbed me."
Mudery was flown to the trauma unit at Allegheny General Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9:59 p.m.
Trooper Scott Kroftcheck, with the state police at Uniontown, said an autopsy determined Mudery's death was caused by a stab wound to the abdomen.
Trooper Robert Wilson testified that authorities found a bloody knife blade on one side of the kitchen and the knife's handle on the other side, where there was a large amount of blood and items knocked around.
"I believe a fight had taken place in the kitchen," Wilson said.
Becker told police that she and Mudery were arguing, and she wanted him to leave the residence, which he refused to do, according to court documents.
Becker said Mudery commanded his pit bull to attack her, and the dog bit her arm and ripped her shirt.
In an attempt to free herself from the dog, Becker said she grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed the dog. Mudery was stabbed, too, as he tried to protect the dog, she said.
Wilson testified that when he saw the dog in the bedroom, it had at least one stab wound on its back as well as blood.
Becker's attorney, Brian Salisbury, asked that the charges be dropped because the state failed to show intent on the homicide charge. The prosecution countered that Zosky testified Mudery indicated Becker stabbed him.
A preliminary arraignment is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 16 in Courtroom 5 at the Fayette County Courthouse in Uniontown.
Becker is lodged in the Fayette County Prison without bail.
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.