The Kevin Murphy triple-murder trial has a new judge, and in another high-profile case, the judge formerly asssigned to the Murphy case will preside over the Clayton Mibroda trial.
Murphy, who is from Conemaugh Township in Indiana County, is accused of shooting to death his mother, sister, and aunt in 2009 at the family’s glass business in Loyalhanna Township, Westmoreland County. Judge John Blahovec recused himself from the trial because of a possible conflict of interest since his secretary is entangled in another – unrelated - case involving District Attorney John Peck. On Tuesday, President Judge Gary Caruso appointed Judge Al Bell to preside over Murphy’s trial, which is scheduled to begin in December.
Murphy and his attorneys, Mark Bolkovac and Bob Bell of Indiana, are scheduled for a status conference with Judge Bell on November 15th.
Clayton Mibroda is the 26-year-old Bolivar man accused in the beating death of his 20-day-old daughter, Natalie, on December 27th last year. His case was assigned to Judge Blahovec. Mibroda is formerly from Indiana. Natalie, whose mother is Kayla Lichtenfels, was pronounced dead at Indiana Regional Medical Center, and Indiana County CoronerMike Baker ruled it a homicide after an autopsy showed extensive injuries, some suffered days before the baby’s death.
Mibroda and his attorneys will have a pretrial conference with Judge Blahovec on November 8th.