2015-10-24 / Front Page

Life in prison for ‘factory murderer’

A St. Marys man convicted of first-degree murder after gunning down former Emporium resident June Talmadge while she worked was sentenced to life behind bars without the possibility of parole in Elk County Court on Wednesday.

Michael Stephanic Jr., 46, shot Talmadge outside of the Eastern Sintered Alloys plant in St. Marys, where the two worked, in the early morning hours of Sept. 3, 2013.

Stephanic appealed for forgiveness from members of Talmadge’s family who were in attendance during the sentencing hearing. He did not receive it.

Her daughter, Emporium resident Jeana Bolin, read a statement detailing the pain and emotional cost inflflicted on her and other members of the family, including the seven grandchildren, Talmadge left behind.

In August, jurors deliberated less than an hour before returning a guilty verdict, dismissing Stephanic’s claims of diminished capacity at the time of the murder.

With capital punishment off the table, the automatic sentence was life imprisonment. Stephanic was also ordered to pay $12,000 in restitution to cover funeral and burial expenses.

Stephanic’s anger was fueled in part by a police encounter several hours before the murder, in response to a domestic disturbance at their shared Brusselles Street apartment. He eventually went to the plant at around 2:30 am and, during a conversation with Talmadge in the parking lot, shot her twice in the back with a biggame riflfle.

A struggle between the defendant and a male employee ensued and the weapon discharged, striking a wall.

Two employees were able to restrain Stephanic until police arrived.

Court records also revealed that police were fifirst called to an incident around 7 pm at the home. They saw no injuries and Talmadge told them she did not want them to pursue charges against Stephanic.

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