Loyd Groves applies for public defender

LOCK HAVEN — Last week, Loyd W. Groves was sentenced to 10-20 years in state prison for the murder of Kathy Heckel in July 1991.

This week, Groves, 69, filed an application for a public defender in the Clinton County Courthouse.

Since his arrest in January 2015, Groves has been represented by private counsel — George E. Lepley Jr. of Williamsport and Lock Haven attorney David I. Lindsay, who also serves as a Clinton County public defender.

His income was listed as $700 a month from Social Security, which ends with his conviction and sentencing, and $500 a month in pension and annuities.

There is nothing else on the three-page application as far as income is concerned.

He has no cash, no checking or savings accounts, no stocks or bonds, no disability benefits, public assistance, interest, dividends, unemployment compensation, owns no property or motor vehicles and receives no support from his children, spouse or any other persons, according to the application.

In addition, he reports no financial support from children, parents or other contributions.

Groves reports he has no debts or obligations, including mortgage or loans.

Still an inmate at the Clinton County Correctional Facility in McElhattan, Groves is expected to be moved to SCI Camphill on Jan. 28.

The charges were filed after a grand jury investigation by the state attorney general’s office determined that there was enough evidence to charge Groves with Heckel’s murder and he was brought back to Clinton County from his home in Beaver, Pa.

Next Tuesday, Jan. 29, it will be exactly four years he’s been an inmate at the county jail.

During that time, his murder trial was delayed or continued several times, once after he suffered a heart attack and underwent triple bypass surgery at UPMC Susquehanna in Williamsport.

The trial finally began on Nov. 13, 2018, and after 11 days, a jury of six men and six women convicted Groves of third-degree murder, after also deciding that there was enough evidence to prove that Heckel, whose body has never been found, was dead. His attorneys said they would appeal the verdict.

The courtroom was filled each day during the trial as Heckel’s mother, husband, son, daughter, brother and sister … and a host of friends listened to witnesses talk about what they saw, heard and knew about the case.

Also sitting through the trial was a team from “Dateline,” which is producing an episode on the Groves trial that is expected to air on NBC in March.