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Trial postponed for man charged with concealing body

Judge rules that defense can call prosecutor to stand as a witness

August 05, 2010|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- The trial of a man charged with concealing the body of slaying victim Stephen J. Tamburo Jr. was postponed this week in Morgan County Circuit Court.

Donovan "Donnie" Carl Younker, 28, was scheduled for trial Tuesday on one count of concealment of a dead human body, but the trial was postponed on Monday and a status hearing was set for Sept. 8 at 9 a.m. by 23rd Circuit Judge Gina M. Groh.

Morgan County Prosecutor Debra MH McLaughlin said Wednesday the trial was postponed because Groh ruled on July 30 that Younker's attorney can call McLaughlin as a witness in the case, which would disqualify her as prosecutor.

Stephen J. Tamburo III, 40, is charged with murder in the death of his father, Stephen J. Tamburo Jr. Both Tamburos and Younker lived on Shanghai Road in Berkeley Springs.

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In December 2008, Stephen J. Tamburo Jr., who was 62 at the time, went missing. In April 2009, a body later determined to be his was found in the Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management area close to the Morgan County-Berkeley County line, authorities said.

McLaughlin said the defense in Younker's case wants her as a witness because she attended the police interview of Younker on Sept. 16, 2009.

According to a criminal complaint filed by West Virginia State Police, Younker said he helped the younger Tamburo move a rug into the back of the elder Tamburo's truck in December 2008.

The rug contained the elder Tamburo's body, police said in the complaint.

McLaughlin said that she disagreed with the court's decision because she did not participate in the interview and should not have to testify.

She said she is asking the West Virginia Supreme Court to review the court's decision.

The trial of Stephen J. Tamburo III was also scheduled for Tuesday, but has been postponed until Oct. 26, according to McLaughlin.

Younker is free on bond. Tamburo is being held without bond in Eastern Regional Jail.

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