Woman who killed mother seeks release
It's been 23 years since Helen Cecilia Bevilacqua was sent to prison for killing her mother in her Midway-St. Clair home in Hempfield.
Bevilacqua is scheduled to appear in Westmoreland County court this morning to ask a judge to release her from prison and end a sentence that could keep her behind bars until 2012.
Through a new attorney, Emily Smarto, Bevilacqua, 43, wants to be released from custody and discharged from her eight- to 20-year sentence.
That sentence was imposed in early 1986 by retired Judge Gilfert Mihalich after Bevilacqua and her boyfriend, Philip "Rusty" Dlubak of Manor, were convicted of third-degree murder in the Feb. 18, 1985, slaying of 42-year-old Helen Marie Bevilacqua.
The jury found that then 20-year-old Helen Cecilia Bevilacqua fired nine shots at her mother with a .22-caliber revolver, hitting her six times. Dlubak, 22, was convicted as an accomplice.
Each previously confessed to being the killer, according to police. They were trying to protect each other and take responsibility for a crime they did not commit, defense attorneys unsuccessfully argued to a jury.
Bevilacqua has been in and out of jail during the past 13 years, according to court records.
She was paroled in 1993, but returned to prison two years later after being arrested on two drunken-driving offenses.
She was paroled again in November 1996, but fled the jurisdiction and was classified as an absconder in January 1998, records show. A year later, she was found and sent back to jail.
She was paroled a third time in December 1999. Two years later, she was charged with drunken driving in Somerset County. When she failed to appear for court appearances later that year, she was declared delinquent. She was not found until 2005, when she was again jailed.
In March 2005, Bevilacqua was sentenced to serve six months to three years in jail on the drunken-driving offense.
Those subsequent drunken-driving offenses, as well as her time on parole and while on the lam, have extended her maximum incarceration date on the murder sentence to 2012, according to court records.
In a court filing on Bevilacqua's behalf, Smarto argued that the time her client spent out of prison and free on parole should count toward her sentence.
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.
- 3 identified in Route 66 crash near Delmont
- Greensburg man charged with assaulting hospital guard
- Walker: Latrobe gets ready to welcome Steelers back to camp
- Westmoreland County gets the word out about drug problem
- Blaze ravages South Huntingdon home
- State grant to aid Excela plans for orthopedic center in Hempfield
- 1 killed in Route 31 crash in East Huntingdon
- Baggaley school principal seeks volunteers to build playground
- Penn Township sues to get blighted property cleaned
- Unity zoning board OKs cellphone tower project
- Westmoreland County Prison to start video visits