Jury chosen for Hempfield man charged with killing girlfriend over spilled noodles
A Westmoreland County jury will begin hearing testimony on Tuesday in the first-degree murder trial of a Hempfield man charged with killing his girlfriend over a bowl of spilled noodles.
Keith Kruel, 39, on Nov. 11, 2011, pushed 40-year-old Tina Ohler's head off a door frame, then kicked and punched her in the face after she fell to the floor, prosecutors contend.
After a night of drinking at several bars, police said, Kruel and Ohler returned home. Police contend Kruel passed out on a couch while Ohler cooked noodles.
According to court records, police said the physical altercation started when Ohler threw a bowl of noodles at Kruel when he refused to eat his nighttime snack because he was no longer hungry.
Kruel maintained he first hit his girlfriend when she refused to clean up the spilled noodles, police said.
Prosecutors will push for a first-degree murder conviction, Assistant District Attorney Pete Flanagan said on Monday. No plea deals have been tendered, Flanagan said.
“The facts support us pursuing a first-degree murder charge,” Flanagan said. “The commonwealth has been pretty singular in its thoughts.”
Kruel is being represented by the county's public defender's office. Attorney L.A. Smith declined to comment on Kruel's defense.
Jurors were selected on Monday to hear the case, which is expected to take about a week before Judge John E. Blahovec.
The couple had a history of domestic disputes during their 10-year relationship, police and Ohler's family members have said.
Kruel is listed on the state's Megan's Law directory for sex offenders. According to court records, he was convicted in 2007 for having sex with an underage girl.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
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.
- Sale of former SCI Greensburg prison to advance despite lawmakers’ objections
- Mt. Pleasant Business District Authority picks officers
- Fast-growing Americans for Prosperity opens location in Greensburg
- Previously convicted of embezzlement, Mt. Pleasant postal worker accused of mail theft
- Court in the Classroom program provides insight for Norwin High School students
- Prosecutors want texts back in Pinkney trial
- Westmoreland County Courthouse, annex roofs will be given $665K fix
- Police claim woman stabbed husband at their Jeannette business
- Deputy sheriff seeks top spot in Greensburg office
- Ligonier Township planners offer suggested changes to zoning proposal
- $7.6M buyout at Hempfield prison site clouds sale