By Ramesh Santanam
The Associated Press
INDIANA, Pa. — A judge on Wednesday ordered a state trooper accused of cutting the throat of his girlfriend's estranged husband and letting him bleed to death to stand trial on a homicide charge.
Prosecutors say Trooper Kevin Foley killed John Yelenic, a dentist, at his home in Blairsville in April 2006. Yelenic was divorcing his wife, Michele, who was dating and living with Foley at the time of Yelenic's death.
Foley was ordered to trial after a day of testimony from other troopers, police officers and a pathologist.
Defense Attorney Richard Galloway had asked District Judge Guy Haberl to dismiss the charges, saying the evidence was sketchy and circumstantial.
"We don't have a knife, we don't have a fingerprint, we don't have an admission ... we have a whole bunch of speculative evidence," Galloway said.
Deputy Attorney General Anthony Krastek said Foley had expressed ill will toward Yelenic. A grand jury found that Michele Yelenic and their adopted son stood to collect on the dentist's estate, including a $1 million life insurance policy.
Michele Yelenic also stood to lose about $2,500 a month in support under the couple's divorce settlement, which was days from being approved when the dentist was found dead.
Dr. Cyril Wecht, who conducted Yelenic's autopsy, said the dentist's throat was cut and he likely bled to death in just minutes. It was the first time Yelenic's family heard the details of his injuries, and saw the autopsy photos.
"This is by far the worst day for us as a family," said his cousin Mary Ann Clark. "We never knew the extent of his injuries."
Pa. trooper charged with homicide to stand trial