Trial date set for Jeannette woman accused in boyfriend’s 2016 death
Jury selection for the murder trial of a Jeannette woman accused in the bludgeoning death of her 19-year-old boyfriend will begin May 13.
During a brief hearing Tuesday, Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Feliciani said Crystal Belle’s first-degree murder trial is expected to take about a week to complete.
Belle, 39, was charged after the body of Khalil Parker of Brentwood, Allegheny County, was found June 11, 2016, tied up with shoe laces in Belle’s South Seventh Street home. Prosecutors contend Belle used a shovel handle to beat Parker to death.
Belle faced a potential sentence of up to 40 years in prison after she pleaded guilty last September to a reduced charge of third-degree murder. In January, Belle withdrew her guilty plea when her defense lawyers said there was not enough evidence to convict her of the murder.
Belle would receive a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if she is convicted of first-degree murder.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .