Pa. councilman to stand trial for 1979 killing

Mar 30, 2012, 3:08 AM

BRIDGEWATER, Pa. (AP) – A borough councilman from western Pennsylvania will stand trial on charges he murdered his lover more than 30 years ago.

A Beaver County judge made the ruling Thursday after a preliminary hearing for 66-year-old Gregory Scott Hopkins.

The Bridgewater councilman is charged with homicide in the September 1979 death of 23-year-old Catherine Walsh. She was found strangled in the bedroom of her home in nearby Monaca.

The cold case was revived with advances in DNA technology. Authorities say Hopkins’ DNA matches material taken from the crime scene. He was arrested in January.

Defense attorney James Ross said Thursday that Hopkins’ DNA was bound to be in Walsh’s apartment because they had a relationship. But he says there’s no evidence he was there the morning she was killed.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Pa. councilman to stand trial for 1979 killing