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Man Accused In Connection With Parents' Death Held For Trial

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The man facing charges in connection with the 2011 death of his parents in their West Deer Township home was back in court today for a hearing.

James Yeckel Jr. was held for trial.

Yeckel's parents were found shot to death inside their home along West Starz Road in Cheswick last September.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office ruled that James Yeckel, Sr. and Carol Yeckel died from shotgun wounds.

Police took Yeckel into custody days later in Harmar Township on criminal mischief charges, unrelated to the couple's death.

Yeckel was charged earlier this year with homicide after DNA test results came back from evidence found at the scene.

During today's hearing, a DNA expert testified that Yeckel's DNA was found on one of the spent shotgun rounds recovered at the residence.

"You would expect to find DNA on an object that he… if he's at a residence and there's DNA it comes just from the skin cells. You would expect to find DNA," said Christopher Patarini, the defense attorney. "And it's on an object that they can't even establish was the shell that was used to wound the individuals."

"Ultimately, this case was cracked by the close cooperation of good, hard police work, developments in science and application of the law," said Mark Tranquilli, the assistant district attorney.

Yeckel also testified at today's hearing.

Police Find Murdered West Deer Couple's Son (9/10/11)
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