Local murder case headed to trial

Local News

Two people linked to the death of an Altoona woman are headed to trial. A man charged with killing  his wife and the woman accused of helping him hide the body, had their preliminary hearings scheduled for Friday.

Police say Michael Copley of Altoona murdered his wife Catherine back in 2015. She went missing in December of that year and her body was found about six months later in a garage behind a vacant house in the city.

Copley pleaded not guilty friday, to offenses including homicide, aggravated assault, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. But after a preliminary hearing,  a district justice ruled that there’s enough evidence to try Copley.

Copley’s attorney called  for dismissal of the charges, saying the prosecution’s case is largely based on speculation and conjecture.
Meantime, Samantha Musselman  waived her right to a preliminary hearing on charges of obstruction of justice, abuse of a corpse, and  tampering with or fabricating  evidence.
Police say their investigation showed that Musselman helped Copley hide the body, and agreed with him,  in front of witnesses that it wouldn’t be found.

Catherine Copley’s family was in the courtroom Friday and said they’re very happy with the judge’s decision and believe they’re one stop closer to justice for Cathy.

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