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Ruling on expert witness delays Beaver County trial

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Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, 5:08 p.m.

State Superior Court will decide whether Beaver County prosecutors can call forensic pathologist Cyril H. Wecht as an expert witness in the trial of a former Bridgewater councilman accused of strangling his lover more than 30 years ago.

The trial for Gregory Scott Hopkins, 66, was supposed to start next week but will be delayed to allow the court to rule.

Hopkins resigned his council seat shortly after his arrest in January on a homicide charge. He's accused of killing Catherine Janet Walsh, 23, whose body was found on Sept. 1, 1979, inside her home in Monaca. Hopkins maintains his innocence.

His attorney, James J. Ross, has suggested that Walsh died during a consensual, but dangerous, sex act. Prosecutors say DNA evidence found on Walsh's nightgown and the cord that bound her hands linked Hopkins to the crime.

Ross said on Monday that he will ask the judge to reconsider setting bail for Hopkins.

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