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Suspect in killing pregnant Amish woman Rebekah Byler to face hearing in Pa.

A Pennsylvania man arrested in the murder of a pregnant Amish woman last month was expected to appear in court on Friday for a preliminary hearing.

Shawn Cranston was arrested in the early hours of March 2 and charged with criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary and criminal trespass.

Authorities accused the 52-year-old truck driver of shooting 23-year-old Rebeka Byler in the head “and/or slashing her throat,” according to the criminal complaint.

Byler, who was six months pregnant, was found dead on Feb. 26 inside her home in Sparta Township, a rural part of Crawford County, located just outside Spartansburg and about 40 miles southeast of Erie, Pa.

Byler’s body was found by her husband and a family friend. The couple’s two young children, ages 2 and 3, were at home at the time of the slaying but were not harmed in the attack, according to state police.

When responding troopers arrived at the scene, they found the victim in a pool of blood in the couple’s living room, authorities said. Investigators later recovered three firearms, bullets, two spent casings and broken knife parts from the crime scene.

Cranston, of Corry, Pa., was arrested less than a week after the grisly discovery. He has been at the Crawford County Correctional Facility since his March 2 arrest and was ordered held without bond.

He was expected to appear in a courtroom for a preliminary hearing Friday afternoon, when District Judge Amy Nicolsin would consider whether authorities have sufficient evidence to move the case forward.

With News Wire Services


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