House Arrest OK'd For Funeral Director Charged With Murder

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    "That's how they look when they die," a funeral director told a widow. An unknown man was in her husband's casket.

    An elderly western Pennsylvania funeral director charged in the shooting death of a contractor last month will be held on house arrest pending trial, authorities said.

    William Welsh, 89, of Homestead has been ordered to stand trial in Allegheny County in the July 26 shooting death of 58-year-old William Menni of McKees Rocks.

    Defense attorney Frank Walker, who says his client acted in self-defense, asked Friday that his client be allowed to return home, citing his age. Prosecutors said they wouldn't object as long as certain conditions were met.

    Walker earlier said his client was remorseful but argued that the case should be considered self-defense or voluntary manslaughter.

    He said his client cared for a vacant house near his funeral home for a California-based owner, and Menni was doing demolition work on the property. Walker said the two had agreed that Menni would be paid in installments but became unhappy with that arrangement and repeatedly threatened Welsh in the weeks preceding the shooting.

    The judge ruled that Welsh will be held on electronic monitoring and must surrender all weapons and have no contact with the victim's family. He will be allowed to leave only for medical appointments, religious services or visits with his attorney.

     

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