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Police: Pa. bride kills niece during wedding party

Thirty-year-old Christina George-Harvan is accused of fatally shooting her niece at a bar in New Brighton, Pa., on her wedding day. CBS Pittsburgh

NEW BRIGHTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania bride fatally shot her niece with her new husband's handgun during an argument over who would be the designated driver after their wedding party, police said.

Authorities said 30-year-old Christina George-Harvan, of Conway, shot 21-year-old Katelyn "Kaytee" Francis of Fairmont, W.Va., around 10 p.m. Thursday in the parking lot of Jimmy K's Bar in New Brighton, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh.

The wedding was held earlier in the day. According to CBS Pittsburgh, the victim died on her way to the hospital.

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Katelyn Francis, 21, was fatally shot last Thursday around 10 p.m. in New Brighton, Pa.
CBS Pittsburgh
Investigators said Francis was at the bar with the suspect and her new husband. The station reports that they were arguing about who would be the designated driver when the bride allegedly took out a gun from her husband's truck and fired at the victim.

"To our understanding, this was over who was going to [be]... the designated driver for the evening," New Brighton Police Chief Charles Vanfossan told the station. "The only thing [George-Harvan] said is she touched the weapon and it discharged."

Lawyer J. Lauson Cashdollar, representing the suspect, said his client was just trying to move the gun when it went off, according to the station.

"Everybody in the bar noticed that there was something going on with the people, but nobody knew exactly what was happening," witness James Botinovich told CBS Pittsburgh. "The next thing you know we heard someone got shot."

"This is just insane. It is unbelievable, a tragedy," family friend Annette Costanza told the station. "[The victim] was like my child because she was my best friend's child."

George-Harvan is currently being held in the county jail without bond.

CBS Pittsburgh reports that George-Harven faces one count of homicide, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of reckless endangerment. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 2.

  • Crimesider Staff

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