Trial begins for Geistown murder suspect

·2 min read

Oct. 8—EBENSBURG — A jury trial began in Cambria County Court on Friday for a Johnstown man charged in a November 2019 beating death of a Geistown man.

A jury began to hear the case made by the Cambria County District Attorney's office against John E. Hoffman, 53, who was charged on Jan. 23, 2020, with criminal homicide in the killing 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 pills.

Testimony presented to the jury and Judge David J. Tulowitzki included experts in blood examination and a DNA profiler.

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

Items collected included clothing from Profazier; items from his home that were believed to contain blood or DNA including a blue pillow, carpet and a VTech phone; clothing containing blood from Profazier's daughter, Arlene Profazier; nail clippings and a DNA swab of Arlene Profrazier and a DNA swab of Hoffman.

Assistant District Attorney Joel Polites said the profiles for Profazier's daughter was originally provided because she was the lead suspect but was later continued to be tested to corroborate her story, which was confirmed by a blood specialist.

Rachael Eilein, a profiler of the commonwealth's forensic DNA division, which is based out of the Pennsylvania State Police in Greensburg, noted that a number of items collected had Profazier's DNA on it, the phone and a towel containing his blood, that also contained another person's DNA on it but the second sample was not large enough to test.

Hoffman's DNA "could not be excluded" from several items, according to her testimony.

The trial will resume Monday.

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