Charges against Connellsville woman in 2001 beating death dismissed
A Fayette County judge Monday dismissed all charges against a Connellsville woman who spent 11 years behind bars on charges she helped beat a man to death in 2001.
Judge John F. Wagner Jr. overturned 39-year-old Crystal Weimer’s conviction and sentence in October.
On Monday, Wagner dismissed all charges, including a homicide charge filed by Connellsville police, during a pretrial hearing in Uniontown to decide whether Weimer should be retried. The decision means the charges against her cannot be retried by District Attorney Richard E. Bower’s office.
Weimer was serving up to 30 years in state prison on a third-degree homicide conviction in the beating death of Curtis Haith, 21, when Wagner freed her on $20,000 unsecured bond in October, pending a new trial.
Haith’s badly beaten body was found outside his apartment with a gunshot wound in the face.
Wagner granted the new trial because a forensic dentist whose testimony on bite-mark analysis helped convict her in 2006 called it “junk science” during the October hearing. During Weimer’s trial, Dr. Constantine Karazulas of Bridgeport, Conn., testified that a bite mark on Haith’s hand matched a dental impression Weimer gave police.
His testimony, along with that of alleged accomplice Joseph C. Stenger, 32, of Everson, helped convict her.
But in October, Karazulas testified that recent advances in bite-mark evidence rendered the analysis “junk science.”
Weimer’s attorneys contended that without the bite-mark evidence, prosecutors had no physical evidence to tie her to the homicide.
Stenger had testified that Weimer helped lure Haith to the scene. He is serving nine to 18 years for conspiracy to commit homicide.
Weimer has always asserted her innocence.