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Franklin County wants to extradite Devoe

October 05, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- After a jury in Texas decides whether convicted killer Paul Devoe will be sentenced to death or to life in prison, the former handyman will be closer to returning to Franklin County, Pa.

"It would be our intent to bring him back, no matter what his sentence is in Texas," Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Angela Krom said.

Devoe, 46, is accused of killing Betty Jane Dehart, 81, in her State Line, Pa., home in August 2007. Prosecutors allege he stole Dehart's 2006 Hyundai and $8 as he fled Texas for New York.

Devoe was found guilty of capital murder last week in the deaths of two teenage girls. Prosecutors say Devoe fatally shot 41-year-old Michael Allred at the bar he worked at in Texas, then drove to the home of his ex-girlfriend, Paula Griffith, in Jonestown, Texas, and fatally shot her, her 48-year-old boyfriend Jay Feltner, her 15-year-old daughter Haylie Faulkner and Haylie's friend, 17-year-old Danielle Hensley.

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Prosecutors divided the killings into separate trials.

Krom said the process to extradite Devoe to Pennsylvania would start when he has been sentenced for the Texas crimes. Devoe is charged with criminal homicide, robbery, burglary and theft in Pennsylvania.

"When they're finished with him and he's serving his sentence, we can have him brought back to our state," Krom said, saying the process is conducted through the governor's office.

Circumstances surrounding Dehart's murder open the possibility of the death penalty in Pennsylvania.

"There's been no determination by our office yet on whether we'd seek it," Krom said.

The punishment phase for Devoe's Texas convictions began Monday and has focused on Devoe's criminal history, as witnesses recounted his penchant for beer, crack cocaine and crystal meth.

A former girlfriend told the jury how Devoe assaulted her twice shortly before the killing spree, leaving her with a black eye, a broken nose and a serious back injury. Another witness testified that Devoe opened fire on a group of people with a shotgun.

Another witness, Ralph Matascio of Long Island, N.Y., recounted an altercation with Devoe in 1988 in front of a 7-Eleven. Shortly after the encounter, Devoe found a group of six men, including Matascio, and opened fire with a shotgun, Matascio said. Matascio said he still has shotgun fragments in his back.

Dehart's daughter, Cindy Chilcoat, testified Monday about how her mother loved crossword puzzles and word searches.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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