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Taped Confession Of Slain Teacher's Husband Played In Court

UNITY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) -- A Westmoreland County man is now headed to trial in his wife's murder.

Derry school teacher Rebecca Stahl was found strangled to death back in February.

Thursday, a judge heard a taped confession from her husband.

Family members inside the courtroom had to listen to a 35-minute confession in which 41-year-old David Stahl talked in detail about how he murdered his wife.

Stahl showed little emotion going into court, but once inside, he was in tears as he listened to his own confession.

He claims the fatal conflict began when he and his wife, 36-year-old Rebecca Stahl, got into an argument over her smoking marijuana and him leaving to go play pool at a nearby bar.

When he returned home after drinking about a dozen beers, he claims she went after him with a steak knife.

Police: "At what point did she grab the knife, if you recall her grabbing a knife?"

Stahl: "Sometime after we were walking through, cat and mouse around the kitchen."

Stahl told police he grabbed his wife's wrist to make her drop the knife and that's when the two tripped over their dog and fell to the basement floor of their Seton View Drive home in Hempfield.

Police: "Whenever you guys tripped over the dog..."

Stahl: "I was going backward and she came down on top of me."

Police: "She fell down on top of you so she's actually laying on top of you now?"

Stahl: "Yes."

Police: "And you're on the bottom?"

Stahl: "Yes."

Stahl then grabbed his wife around the neck and strangled her, hiding her body in their shed before moving her to the old nursery in Unity Township where she was found.

He sent text messages back and forth between their phones to make it look like she was alive.

Family members didn't speak after the hearing, but consoled one another in the parking lot.

Stahl: "I'm sorry that it happened... and I miss my lovebird."

Police: "Who's your lovebird?"

Stahl: "Rebecca."

Dave Stahl attempted suicide shortly before his arrest. He did that by taking some of his wife's medication that was in the house and also slitting his wrists.

He's being held in the Westmoreland County Jail without bond.

Stay with KDKA for more on this developing story.

Husband Of Slain Derry Teacher In Court (3/6/12)
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