News reports say Hepfl was stabbed 40 times and her body was found under disturbed dirt in the yard.
The crime occurred in Frankfort, Pennsylvania in March, 2015 and was reported June 17, 2015.
Unlike the murders of nine black people in Charleston, South Carolina this week, the murder didn't attract national media attention, was not exploited to exacerbate racial hatred, nor did the governor hold a news conference to declare the heart and soul of Pennsylvania had been broken.
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JEFFREY BOWEN came to her apartment door with blood on his forehead, blood on his body, Jamie Utter testified yesterday.
Moments earlier on that Friday night, March 20, Utter, who lived next to Bowen on the second floor of a Frankford apartment building, said she heard "some yelling" in Bowen's apartment and "a female voice say, 'Help me!' "
She then "heard a couple of bangs, like things being thrown. Then, I heard a thud."
A short time later, Bowen knocked on her door.
"Jeffrey came to my door asking for a condom," Utter testified at Bowen's preliminary hearing on murder and related charges.
"He said he was fighting with his girlfriend, and he wanted to have makeup sex," Utter said.
Utter said she went to get him a condom, and when she returned to her door to give it to him, he had taken off gloves from his hands, which had blood on them.
She didn't call police. When asked by Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore if she thought it was unusual that Bowen knocked on her door with blood on him, Utter said: "People fight every day. Maybe they both had blood. I don't know."
Bowen, 30, is accused of stabbing to death Kelly Hepfl, 39, inside the apartment where he was staying, on Frankford Avenue near Foulkrod Street, then burying her in the back yard of the apartment building in March.
Police Officer Tiffany Richardson, of the Crime Scene Unit, testified that in the early morning of March 24, she and other cops went to investigate "an area of disturbed dirt" in the back yard of the apartment building.
What did she see?
"Some toes that were sticking out of the dirt," Richardson testified.
After taking photos, cops dug and found a woman's body in trash bags buried under the dirt.
Pescatore said Hepfl - the woman buried in the yard - had about 40 stab wounds to her head, face, neck, chest and back.
Richardson showed Municipal Judge Jacquelyn Frazier-Lyde a photo of a knife recovered inside a hallway of the apartment building. She said it had an 11-inch-long blade and was about 2 to 3 inches wide. A shovel was also found in the hallway, she said.
In Bowen's bathroom, she said, she saw what appeared to be blood splattered over two walls, a lot of blood on the side of the sink, and bloodstains on the floor.
Utter, Bowen's next-door neighbor, testified that on the day after he asked for the condom, she saw Bowen in passing outside their apartments. He was wearing a woman's puffy silver coat and a woman's pajama pants.
Later that Saturday, she said, she saw him in a convenience store asking people if he could borrow bolt cutters.
Asked by Geoffrey Kilroy, one of Bowen's public defenders, if there were something different about Bowen that day, Utter said: "It seemed like he wasn't there. It seemed he wasn't his normal self."
Chris Wallace, the resident manager for the apartment building, testified that Bowen was living in Apartment 2E for two or three months. Wallace said that on the evening of March 23, he went to the back yard of the building and saw a pile of "fresh dirt" after someone brought it to his attention.
He said he took a photo of it with his cellphone and then went to tell a cop about it, but that cop didn't do anything.
The next morning, he said he saw the fresh-dirt mound again in the back, and this time went to a hardware store across the street to tell a man there about it. The man called a cop he knew, Clive Austin, to come over.
Austin testified that about 11:30 a.m. on March 24, he met Wallace at the hardware store, then called other officers to come investigate with him. After going to the rear of the apartment building, he said, he saw what looked like "a potential gravesite."
Wallace, who had gone back inside the apartment building, called Austin when Bowen appeared to be leaving the building. Wallace suspected Bowen of the foul play.
When Bowen came out, Austin said he tried to talk to him and have him walk over to Austin's patrol car parked in the middle of Frankford Avenue, under the Market-Frankford El.
But Bowen resisted, and Austin said a struggle ensued during which Bowen tried to take Austin's gun, and that of his partner, Officer Jessica Perez.
Bowen told them, "I'm going to f---ing kill you," Austin testified.
Austin said his partner ended up tasing Bowen, and then they got him cuffed. Bowen was taken by SEPTA police to a hospital, Austin said.
Image credit: philly.com ####
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