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Conner sentencing might be delayed

Renatta Signorini
| Monday, May 21, 2007

The defense attorney for a Manor Township woman who pleaded guilty to attempting to steal an unborn child from a pregnant woman's womb planned Friday to have sentencing postponed for a second time.

Sentencing for Peggy Jo Conner, who turns 40 today, is scheduled for Tuesday.

David DeFazio said a doctor has met with Conner once and would like to have a couple more conversations with her before writing a report. DeFazio said he faxed information to the Armstrong County District Attorney's Office on Friday to see if they would be in favor of a motion to continue.

"We're just trying to get the sentencing right," DeFazio said.

District Attorney Scott Andreassi said Friday afternoon he had not recieved any information from DeFazio's office regarding a continuance. Andreassi said he "vehemently and vociferously" opposed a continuation.

If DeFazio filed a motion to continue with the court, Andreassi said he planned to inform Judge Kenneth Valasek of his office's opposing opinion.

"The judge always has the final say," Andreassi said.

DeFazio filed for a continuation of Conner's sentencing hearing scheduled for April 12 for a third mental evaluation. Two prior psychiatric examinations found Conner was not mentally ill during the October 2005 attack.

Conner pleaded guilty on Feb. 12 to attempted homicide, kidnapping and aggravated assault of Valerie Lynn Oskin and her unborn child. A charge of attempted homicide of a fetus was withdrawn. She could face up to 80 years in jail on the charges, Andreassi said.

According to trial testimony, Conner entered Oskin's home in Manor Township and beat her on the head. She later drove Oskin to a rural area off of State Route 1037 in Wayne Township, where she cut open the pregnant's woman's stomach in an unsuccessful attempt to steal her baby. Conner was interrupted by a teenager riding an ATV, who went for help.

Conner's sentencing was scheduled at 8:30 a.m. in Courtroom 2. Oskin will testify, Andreassi said.

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