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Cellmate: Rebert said Pa. couple had ‘old money’

January 20, 2012

Steven P. Rebert

BROOKVILLE — Testimony about a jail-house confession by Steven P. Rebert emerged during his Aug. 11, 2010, preliminary hearing in the shooting deaths of Victoria and Wayne Shugar, and Thursday, the man who allegedly heard the confession testified for the prosecution.

Joel Eagleson, formerly of Phoenix, Ariz., now residing in Batavia, N.Y., told the jury about a 15- to 20-minute conversation he and Rebert had in early June 2010, after Rebert had been arrested by authorities in Genessee County, N.Y., for possession of a weapon.

Eagleson testified while in the cell, Rebert was undergoing withdrawal from Oxycontin.

District Attorney Jeffrey Burkett asked Eagleson if he had any knowledge of the Shugars’ murders or the investigation in Pennsylvania prior to his talk with Rebert.

He said he had not when Rebert told him about knowing a couple who owned a flower shop in an area where he had worked installing fiber optic cable.

Eagleson said Rebert told him that while performing the work, he asked the Shugars if he could use their bathroom. He also said Rebert mentioned having a .380 firearm.

Eagleson testified that he asked Rebert why he “picked those people.” He said Rebert replied because they had old money.

Eagleson also said Rebert spoke about establishing an alibi by stopping at a convenience store near his home, and that he was worried that animal hair on his clothes could connect him to the crime.

Burkett then asked Eagleson if Rebert made any statements about getting rid of evidence. He replied that Rebert mentioned burying a weapon in a wooded area behind his home.

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