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State Supreme Court upholds trooper's conviction in 2006 Blairsville slaying

| Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

The state Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a former Pennsylvania state trooper in the 2006 slaying of a Blairsville dentist.

An Indiana County jury convicted Kevin J. Foley, 47, formerly of White Township, in the fatal beating and slashing of Dr. John Yelenic in his home in 2006. Foley is serving a mandatory life sentence at SCI Retreat in Luzerne County.

The appellate court issued its ruling in a one-sentence statement stating the former trooper's “Petition for Allowance of Appeal is denied.”

On Dec. 28, 2011, a three-member Superior Court panel dismissed Foley's arguments seeking to throw out his first-degree murder conviction after an eight-day trial on April 13, 2009.

“This is very good news,” said Yelenic's cousin, Mary Ann Clark.

Foley had been living with Yelenic's estranged wife, Michele Yelenic, who was going through a bitter divorce with the dentist.

Foley's attorneys have argued that Indiana County President Judge William Martin erred when he permitted jurors to hear evidence about bloody footprints left near the body.

The defense has argued the print evidence was “irrelevant” because the shoe prints found at the scene could not authoritatively be determined to be any particular brand, style, or size of shoe.

Deputy Attorney General Anthony Krastek presented trial evidence linking the prints to a specific Asics brand running shoe favored by Foley. Clark said Krastek informed her of the Jan. 4 opinion this week.

Michele Yelenic was not charged in the case.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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