Shards of bloody snow shovel introduced in Jeannette murder trial
Seven pieces of a shattered and blood-covered snow shovel were discovered in the basement of the Jeannette home where police claim a 19-year-old Allegheny County man was bludgeoned to death in 2016.
Retired Westmoreland County Detective Hugh Shearer testified a larger, hard plastic handle portion of the same shovel was also found stained with blood in an upstairs bedroom.
Shearer was the lone witness to testify Friday in the second day of the first-degree murder trial of Crystal Belle, who prosecutors contend beat Khalil Parker to death on June 11, 2016.
Shearer narrated as District Attorney John Peck walked jurors through more than 200 pictures of evidence found in the South Seventh Street home Belle, 39, shared with Parker, who police said was killed during a violent confrontation between couple.
Investigators found blood throughout the home, on the walls and floors of the kitchen, on objects in the basement and throughout an upstairs bedroom, where police discovered chains of knotted shoe laces tied to a nightstand and the rails of a queen-sized bed.
Blood sprays marked the walls above the bed.
“Would someone being struck in the head with that shaft of the shovel cause that kind of misting on the wall?” Peck asked.
Shearer responded yes and and also described large blood stains found on the bed’s mattress as well as droplets discovered on the shoelaces.
The prosecution contends Belle brutally beat Parker with the snow shovel and potentially a blood-soaked wooden board found on the bedroom floor.
Shearer testified two small sections of the shovel’s handle along with five shattered plastic pieces of the blade were discovered in the basement.
Belle has maintained she acted in self defense and her attorney told jurors at the start of the trial that she and Parker were engaged in rough consensual sex prior to his death.
Shearer is expected to resume his testimony when the trial reconvenes on Monday.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .