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Out-of-county jury to hear Kristin Edmundson homicide case

Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman reported this morning the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decided that a jury from Venango County will hear testimony in a homicide case against a 21-year-old resident of Altoona.
Gorman said Blair County Judge Jolene Kopriva ruled earlier this year that heavy media coverage concerning the May 2001 murder of 20-year-old Shari Lee Jackson of Hollidaysburg would prevent Kristin Marie Edmundson from receiving a fair trial. Edmundson, along with Marie Louise Seilhamer, 20, of Ashville, area accused of killing Jackson because of jealousy.
The women will be tried separately, and if convicted, both could receive the death penalty.
According to Gorman, jury selection is scheduled to begin Jan. 27 and he said it should take about a week to finish. He said Edmundson’s trial would begin shortly thereafter, most likely on Feb. 3.
“The reason we’re bringing the jury to Blair County is strictly because of finances,” said Gorman. “Simply put, it would be much cheaper on Blair County if we would bring a jury here, rather than gather everything up here and go there for trial.”
Edmundson will also be tried with Amanda Spechier of Boswell, who police said assisted Edmundson destroy evidence the day following the killing. A third accomplice, Scott A. Custer, also of Boswell, recently entered guilty pleas to charges of abuse of a corpse, hindering apprehension and conspiracy to handle. His agreement calls for a time-served sentence, but acceptance of that sentence depends on his cooperation as a witness against the defendants at the time of trial.
Custer was accused of helping Edmundson burn Jackson’s body along state Route 453, Janesville Pike, north of Tyrone.
Seilhamer is scheduled to go to trail following Edmundson’s proceedings; however, a date has yet to be selected.