Former in-laws seek $78K in restitution from Hempfield man
The family of a woman murdered by her husband in February 2012 wants him to pay $78,000 in restitution.
Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck on Thursday filed a motion to modify the sentence of life imprisonment imposed on David Stahl, 44, of Hempfield.
Stahl was ordered by Judge Rita Hathaway on Thursday to pay $10,000 to state police for forensic services.
Prosecutors did not have the opportunity to request that the judge order Stahl to pay restitution before he was sentenced.
Hathaway imposed the sentence on the night of June 27, immediately after a jury convicted Stahl of first-degree murder in the strangulation death of Rebecca Anderson Stahl, 37.
An all-female jury convicted Stahl of killing his wife, a Derry Area School District math teacher, on the night of Feb. 19, 2012, according to testimony in the five-day trial.
Rebecca Stahl's body was found five days later, dumped in a Unity field near Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.
After her family reported her missing, David Stahl claimed to know nothing of her whereabouts, police officers testified.
Expenses listed in a document attached to Peck's motion include funeral and burial expenses totaling nearly $27,000 and legal fees related to the administration of the victim's estate of almost $35,000.
“The Commonwealth respectfully requests that the Defendant be ordered to pay as restitution the expenses set forth in the attached restitution statement submitted by the victim's family,” Peck wrote.
Her family is seeking restitution for expenses related to their attendance at the trial and upkeep of the victim's home and vehicle.
Stahl and his wife had exchanged a series of angry texts over him drinking at a bar before he came home and they got into a violent argument. Stahl, who had abused his wife for years, physically overwhelmed her and then strangled her for at least 30 seconds, crushing her windpipe, according to trial testimony.
Prosecutors said Stahl attempted to cover up the crime when he burned his wife's belongings and then dumped her body.
In a basement freezer in the couple's home, police officers testified, they found the victim's partially burned identification cards, some of her other personal effects, muddy boots and bits of shrubbery, similar to that found in the field where the body had been discarded, according to testimony.
The defense argued that Stahl did not intend to kill his wife.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 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.
- Westmoreland torture-slaying convict Smyrnes says death row isolation too cruel
- Extremes in weather hurt crops in Westmoreland
- Hempfield murderer serving life sentence promises restitution when he’s released
- Man charged with hitting girlfriend with car in East Huntingdon reaches plea agreement
- Police: Scottdale man had child porn on computer
- Sutersville ready to sell former church
- Hempfield cyclist to cool wheels in jail during appeal
- More than 100 stamp bags confiscated in Greensburg; 4 arrested
- Sewickley Twp. man who received food stamps didn’t disclose gas royalties
- Scottdale chamber’s Community Yard Sale to be held Saturday
- Youngwood playground found to be in violation of disability act again