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Report: Police charge another man in Devan Knapp's death

February 26, 2013

CLARION COUNTY — After a 29-year-old man was charged Monday with third-degree murder in the January death of 19-year-old Devan Knapp of Brookville, a second man, 32-year-old Joel Tanner Stark of Rimersburg, has been charged with several criminal conspiracy counts — including abuse of a corpse and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence — surrounding Knapp's death and the moving of her body, WJAC-TV reported Tuesday.

In addition to the third-degree murder charges, Carr also faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, drug delivery resulting in death, criminal use of a communication facility, aggravated assault, abuse of a corpse, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, recklessly endangering another person and simple assault.

Knapp was found in her car on Jan. 15 in Millcreek Township, Clarion County.

Police allege that Carr injected Knapp with what proved to be a lethal dose of heroin on Jan. 12. A witness reported seeing Carr allegedly inject Knapp.

The TV station said court documents identified Stark as that witness on Tuesday.

According to the police criminal complaint, Stark said he allegedly saw Carr inject Knapp with the dose, and after she stopped breathing, suggested she be taken to the hospital.

Carr refused, according to the report, because he had warrants out for his arrest, and instead took Knapp's body to the location it was found in her own car, moved her into the driver's seat and placed a needle on her lap to give the impression that she had overdosed herself.

In an interview with the news station, Clarion County District Attorney Mark Aaron said the depth of the problem here extends beyond a murder investigation, with the ties to heroin that can be found in it: "We average probably one homicide per year, but this case is obviously very significant because it seems to be a culmination of what has been occurring in western Pa., not just Clarion County, over the last couple of years, culminating in heroin abuse leading to a tragic death such as this.”

WJAC also said police charged Stark with criminal use of communication, as he allegedly used his cellphone to arrange delivery of heroin.

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