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Concealment of dead body hearing postponed

September 10, 2010|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- The hearing for a man charged with the concealment of the body of slaying victim Stephen J. Tamburo Jr. was postponed Tuesday in Morgan County Circuit Court.

The status hearing for Donovan "Donnie" Carl Younker, 28, was moved to Nov. 15 at 9 a.m. because the West Virginia Supreme Court has not yet made a decision on whether Younker's attorney may call Morgan County prosecutor Debra MH McLaughlin as a witness,23rd Circuit Judge Gina M. Groh said.

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

Younker's trial date was scheduled for Aug. 5, but it was postponed because Groh ruled July 30 that Younker's attorney can call McLaughlin as a witness in the case, which would disqualify her as prosecutor.

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

In December 2008, Stephen J. Tamburo Jr., 62, went missing. In April 2009, a body later identified as his was found in the Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management area near the Morgan County-Berkeley County line, authorities had said.

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 2008.

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

Defense attorney Charles S. Trump IV said the decision from the state supreme court is due by Sept. 22.

Groh said the status hearing will be rescheduled earlier than Nov. 15 if the supreme court decision is received soon.

Younker is free on bond, but Tamburo was being held without bond in Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg, W.Va.

A Morgan County grand jury reindicted Tamburo this week for the murder and concealment of his father's body.

McLaughlin said Wednesday that the Sept. 7 indictment includes charges of forgery and uttering.

Tamburo is alleged to have forged his father's checks and tendered the documents, she said.

She said the indictment of murder, concealment of a deceased human body and six charges of forgery and uttering are all part of one case.

Tamburo's arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 20 at 9 a.m. in Morgan County Circuit Court. His trial is set to begin on Oct. 26, McLaughlin said.

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