Share This Page

Corbett signs death warrant in toddler rape-murder

| Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, 10:48 a.m.

EBENSBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett has signed a death warrant ordering a western Pennsylvania man be executed for the rape and murder of a 2-year-old girl in 1988.

Fifty-five-year-old Stephen Rex Edmiston has maintained his innocence since he was convicted in 1989 in the abduction of Bobbi Jo Matthew from her Clearfield County home.

Edmiston, of Huntingdon County, alleged told police, “You'll find a dead, raped little girl” after drawing a map that marked the spot in northern Cambria County where her remains were found.

Attorneys with the Defender Association of Philadelphia contend the girl was actually run over, not raped and murdered.

The death warrant sets the execution for April 16, though that's likely to be delayed by more appeals.

Gary Heidnik became the last person executed in Pennsylvania in 1999, after he voluntarily ended his appeals.

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.