Virgina man found guilty in 2017 Eldred Township Murder

Despite four attempts to rule a Virgina-native mentally incompetent for trial, he was found guilty on all counts Wednesday morning for the 2017 murder of an elderly Eldred Township man at his home, along with other related charges.

Graham Nicholas Norby-Vardac, 25, was found guilty of killing Donald Kleese Jr., 82, in his home along Quaker Hill Road during a cross-country bicycle trip.

Phone conversations and testimony by autopsy personnel were presented to the court in this non-jury trial.

The number of lies Norby-Vardac told to law enforcement, as well as the number of fatal wounds found on Kleese by a forensic pathologist confirmed to Judge Nancy L. Butts, presiding, that he had “the fully-formed intent to kill,” and understood the meaning, she said.

The court meets again this afternoon to decide if Norby-Vardac will spend his mandatory life sentence in a mental facility or prison.

Watch for a full report in tomorrow’s Sun-Gazette.


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