New evidence delays trial of man charged in ex-wife’s stabbing death

Associated Press


The trial of a West Virginia man charged with stabbing his ex-wife to death in 1999 in her suburban Pittsburgh home has been delayed after a prosecutor said Thursday that she found newly discovered evidence in local police files — including an FBI profiler’s report suggesting someone else may have committed the crime.

Deputy District Attorney Lisa Pellegrini found the documents in a Bethel Park police file about the death of 29-year-old Melissa Groot, Pellegrini said in court. She said she thought it would be prudent to search the police records because the defendant, John Minch, of Cameron, W.Va., had complained that many items of evidence had not been provided to him.

Minch, 45, who is representing himself, has been jailed without bond awaiting trial since 2009.

He was arrested after police said a hair found at the crime could match his DNA. The hair had been in storage for years before it was tested, and Minch argues that while tests show the hair could be his, they also show it could match millions of other men.

“I am not afraid to face these charges, your honor,” Minch said.

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