TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Restitution hearing held on siblings' missing Hopwood estate items

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

A baseball bat autographed by Pittsburgh Pirates great Roberto Clemente would fetch as much as $2,500 from a collector, according to a Connellsville man who testified on Tuesday during a restitution hearing in Fayette County.

The full-size Louisville slugger bat, along with a baseball signed by Clemente, are among the items missing from a Hopwood woman's estate.

Richard Bower, 21, testified the bat would sell for as much as $2,500 and the ball, $1,800. Bower testified he has collected sports memorabilia for about eight years. One of his duties in his former job at Sports Collector Universe in Uniontown Mall included valuing such collectibles, he testified.

A jury on April 10 convicted Marlene Wesolowsky, 49, of Morgantown of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds in connection with the missing items. State Trooper John Marshall filed the charge after Wesolowsky's siblings said the Morgantown woman failed to return the baseball, bat and other collectibles when their mother died in 2004.

The siblings had stored the items in their mother's home in Hopwood. Wesolowsky was appointed administratix of Rosemary Mehall's estate.

One of Wesolowsky's brothers, Michael Mehall of Scottdale, testified during the trial that his missing baseball card collection had a value of $146,805.

The collection of 300,000 cards included a rare, 1952 Topps No. 407 Eddie Mathews Milwaukee Braves card that Mehall valued at $10,000.

Mehall told jurors during the trial that Wesolowsky threatened in August 2007 to burn the collection. He said he still has not learned what happened to the cards.

On Tuesday, sister Ralene Debord of Wexford testified her missing doll collection included two porcelain Cabbage Patch dolls valued at $299 each and 20 Zapf dolls valued at $200 each.

She testified 40 Morgan silver dollars valued at $9,000 are missing, along with a mink coat she valued at $5,000 and various pieces of her mother's jewelry, including a cluster ring purchased 20 years ago for $1,000.

Most of the knives she said she purchased for her late father's collection over a period of years is missing, she testified. She valued eight of the knives at $200 each.

Asked by defense attorney David Kaiser of Uniontown if she had any receipts for the knives, DeBord said she did not because “I never expected them to be taken.”

Vernon did not immediately determine a restitution amount, indicating she will finalize the number in time for Wesolowsky's sentencing hearing on May 8.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Fayette

  1. Fayette County residents warned muggy weather could cause health problems
  2. Former Fayette commissioner plans run as independent
  3. Man charged with threats against Fayette firefighters
  4. Uniontown homicide suspect says blood sugar level so low during questioning that he couldn’t comprehend officers
  5. Attempted homicide charge dropped in Bullskin bat beating, but man held for trial on other counts
  6. Hundreds to participate in Nicholson Memorial Bike Run to benefit cancer patients
  7. North Fayette municipal authority awaits study on water
  8. Connellsville police search for armed robber
  9. Connellsville Health Board discusses rundown properties
  10. Township bombarded with calls about Connellsville City tax notices
  11. Vandals a cause of worry for cops