11-08-2005, 01:59 AM #1
PA - John Ford on trial for the murder of Katrice Lester, 31
Cousin says slay suspect confessed crime to him
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
The cousin of a Clairton man who is accused of killing a Hill District woman in 2002 testified yesterday that the suspect had confessed the crime to him.
Morris J. Jones said he gave police that information after having a dream about the victim, Katrice Lester, a mother of two, while in jail.
"It was eating my conscience up," Mr. Jones said. "She just came to me in my dream."
The homicide trial of John H. Ford, 28, began yesterday before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman.
Mr. Jones testified that his cousin confessed that he had argued with Ms. Lester and fatally punched her.
Ms. Lester, 31, had been missing for about eight months when her decomposed remains were found Sept. 7, 2002, in an abandoned house in Clairton owned by Mr. Ford's father.
The tattered clothing on her body was similar to what she was wearing Jan. 18, 2002, the last time she was seen alive.
Assistant District Attorney Lisa Pellegrini said in her opening statement that Mr. Ford was the last person seen with Ms. Lester.
A day after the incident, Mr. Ford broke down in tears, Mr. Jones said.
"He said he made a mistake," Mr. Jones said, quoting his cousin.
Initially, Mr. Jones told investigators that he knew nothing about the crime. He gave police a statement eight months later and told them where to find the body. He said that he had refused Mr. Ford's plea for help disposing of the body.
Police searched the hillside behind the abandoned house before Ms. Lester's remains were found inside covered with debris and a bed sheet. More: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05312/602467.stm
05-23-2015, 09:15 AM #2
From December 2006:
After two mistrials, a Clairton man was convicted today in the 2002 death of his ex-girlfriend.
John H. Ford, 29, expressed no emotion when the jury foreperson read the verdict. Based on mostly circumstantial evidence, the jury of six men and six women found him guilty of third-degree murder in the death of Katrice Lester...
Mr. Ford faces a prison sentence of 20 to 40 years.
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