exposing the dark side of adoption
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Woman withdraws guilty plea in muder


Reading Eagle

Uniontown - A woman who cooperated with prosecutors in the murder case against her husband has withdrawn her guilty plea to third-degree murder for the 1992 death of her mentally retarded adopted daughter.

Roberta Gillin, 50, was scheduled to be sentenced on the murder charges Tuesday. Gillin clutched a red Bible as she told Fayette County Judge Gerald R. Solomon that she would withdraw her guilty plea.

Gillin could have been sentenced to 20 years in prison for her alleged role in the death of 25-year-old Helen Gillin at the family's Bear Rock home about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh.

Gillin entered her initial guilty plea on March 5, a little more than a month after Fayette County Judge Conrad Capuzzi rejected an agreement that would have sent her to prison for four to eight years.

Gillin's husband, James Gillin, 53, was sentenced to life in prison plus five to 14 years without parole after being convicted of first-degree murder in their daughter's death. He was also convicted of two counts of conspiracy and a count of abusing a corpse.

2001 Mar 27