Trial Begins for Geistown Murder Suspect | New

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EBENSBURG, Pa. – A jury trial began Friday in Cambria County Court for a Johnstown man accused of beating a Geistown man to death in November 2019.

A jury has begun hearing the case brought by the Cambria County District Attorney’s Office against John E. Hoffman, 53, who was charged on January 23, 2020 with criminal homicide in the murder of Anthony Profaizer, 74 .

Cambria County detectives alleged at the time of the arrest that Hoffman killed Profaizer, whose body was found in the garage of his Sunberry Street home, and stole his prescription pain relievers.

The testimony presented to the jury and to Judge David J. Tulowitzki included experts in blood analysis and a DNA profiler.

A number of items were collected from the scene and tested for blood, then sent for DNA testing.

Items collected included clothes from Profazier; items from her home that contained blood or DNA, including a blue pillow, rug, and VTech phone; clothes containing blood from Profazier’s daughter, Arlene Profazier; nail clippings and a DNA swab from Arlene Profrazier and a DNA swab from Hoffman.

Deputy District Attorney Joel Polites said Profazier’s daughter profiles were originally provided because she was the prime suspect, but then continued to be tested to corroborate her story, which has been confirmed by a blood specialist.

Rachael Eilein, a Commonwealth Forensic DNA Profiler, who is based at the Pennsylvania State Police Department in Greensburg, noted that a number of items collected contained Profazier’s DNA, the phone and a napkin containing his blood, which also had other DNA from the person on it, but the second sample was not large enough to be tested.

Hoffman’s DNA “could not be excluded” from several items, according to his testimony.

The trial will resume on Monday.

Katie Smolen is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @ KSmolen1230.


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