Suspect pleads guilty in 1990 murder case

A man arrested more than five years ago for the 1990 stabbing death of a Cumberland County convenience store clerk has admitted to the crime in court.

Troy Eugene Klingensmith, 53, entered a guilty plea Friday to third-degree murder and false imprisonment in the killing of Raquel Westfall.

Klingensmith was immediately sentenced to the maximum penalty of 10 to 20 years for third-degree murder and one to two years for false imprisonment.

Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed said Klingensmith will begin serving the sentences in 2017, at the end of his current state prison sentence for other charges, so that his sentence will expire in 2039.

Freed said his office initially pursued a first-degree murder charge and filed an aggravating circumstance, but made the decision to resolve the case in a manner that will keep Klingensmith behind bars for many more years.

“First-degree murder requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of premeditation and specific intent,” Freed said in a statement. “I believe that while our evidence is strong in this case, the guaranteed result is preferable to the uncertainty of a trial.”

Westfall, 37, was found murdered in a Silver Spring Township field in May 1990 after she was abducted while working the night shift at a Hogestown convenience store.

Her murder went unsolved until Klingensmith was charged in 2008 based on DNA evidence.

 

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