Kathy Heckel Trial
UPDATE Loyd Groves, 69, was found guilty of third-degree murder of Kathy Heckel. Groves was given the maximum term in effect for third-degree murder in 1991 when the crime occurred.
The Judge cited three aggravating factors in deciding his sentence:
- Disposal of the body that caused further trauma to the family.
- Groves was aware that the victim, Katherine Dolan Heckel, 40, was the mother of two children, then 9 and 13.
- Lack of remorse.
Original Story: Kathy Heckel, 40, of Lock Haven, Pennsylvania went missing on July 15, 1991. She was last seen at the International Paper Company where she worked.
Police found her car two days later in the parking lot of the Lock Haven Hospital, in third gear with the emergency brake applied, according to the Lockhaven Express. Blood was found in the car.
During the investigation for Kathy; Loyd Groves, now 69, was considered a suspect. But, It would be 25 years before he was indicted and charged for her murder. He was charged on Jan. 29, 2015, and the trial has started this week.
Investigators say the two worked together and were having an affair and when Heckel broke it off, Groves got jealous.
The defense attorney states the prosecution’s case is just a theory.
During the trial today, Kathy’s husband John Heckel also testified. He told the jury he suspected Kathy was going to leave him a few weeks before she was killed.
Kathy’s mother Margaret Dolan told the jury, “It was the worst of the worst. It was not like Kathy to do this.”
History of case
The Attorney General’s Office reopened the investigation in November 2013. The 36th statewide Grand Jury heard the evidence and stated probable cause existed. Groves was charged in 2015 and the jury selection began in June 2018. The trial started in Nov. 2018 and is expected to last between 2-3 weeks.
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