Jury selection to begin in stepfather's necrophilia murder case

Jury selection is set to begin in the case of a Pennsylvania man accused of killing his stepdaughter and sexually abusing her corpse.

Opening arguments won't start until next week because Gregory Graf's defense attorney has a conflict with another trial, but Monday's jury selection will proceed as scheduled.

Graf, 54, of Allen Township, Pa., is accused of fatally shooting Jessica Padgett and recording a video of himself abusing her corpse.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli has said the video was discovered on Graf's computer.

Padgett, 33, a newlywed mother of three, was last seen alive on Nov. 21, 2014. Graf was arrested five days later after police found Padgett's body buried behind a shed on the property where he lived with Padgett's mother.

Defense attorney John McMahon has said he's considering a mental health defense.

DA Morganelli told HLN television host Nancy Grace the sexual motive was "either prior to the murder, during or a desire perhaps to have sex with a deceased body."

Authorities say Graf confessed to shooting his stepdaughter of 20 years in the back of the head, burying her body behind a shed and moving her car away from the scene.

Police said Graf is an avid hunter and used one of his guns in the crime.

Police say Padgett arrived at Duck Duck Goose daycare, where she worked, at 8:30 a.m. the day she disappeared, with her 2-year-old son. She left in the early afternoon, telling coworkers she needed to go to her stepfather's home, which doubled as an office for a fencing company, to use a fax machine. Her son remained at the daycare.

Her vehicle, a white Subaru Outback, was later recovered outside a Dollar General store in Northampton Borough.
Related Topics:
pennsylvania newssex abusehomicideu.s. & worldPennsylvania
(Copyright ©2018 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)