- Associated Press - Friday, May 23, 2014

BEAVER, Pa. (AP) - A western Pennsylvania newlywed has been granted bail while awaiting trial on a homicide charge in the shooting death of her niece.

Christina George-Harvan, 30, of Conway, is also charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment in Beaver County in the April 24 death of 21-year-old Katelyn Francis of Fairmont, West Virginia, in the parking lot of a bar.

Police said the newlyweds, who were celebrating their marriage hours earlier with a small group of friends including Francis, had emerged from Jimmy K’s Bar and Grille in New Brighton, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh, when an argument erupted about who should drive home.

Sgt. Ron Walton of the New Brighton Area police department testified at the preliminary hearing that George was applying pressure to the wound when he arrived and expressed concern for her niece, asking him whether she was treating her injury properly.

Judge Harry Knafelc said after a brief hearing Thursday that “there is no doubt in my mind this is not a capital case,” and therefore the defendant was entitled to bond.

He set bail at 10 percent of $50,000 and ordered the defendant to surrender her passport, have no contact with the victim’s family and be subject to electronic monitoring. Defense attorney Stephen Colafella said a relative posted bail for her immediately.

Colafella has called the shooting a “horrible, horrible accident” that occurred when his client tried to move the gun. After the hearing, Colafella said suggesting that the case was murder was “preposterous” and it was at worse a case of involuntary manslaughter.

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