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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Grand Jury: Easton Woman Strangled Lover in 2011

Beth Marsteller mug shot
Beth Elaine Marsteller, age 31, strangled George Humbert to death in 2011. That's what Northampton County's Investigating Grand Jury charges in a Presentment that Supervising Judge Michael Koury ordered unsealed on Tuesday. District Attorney John Morganelli announced these findings at a news conference attended by Easton Police Lieutenant Matt Gerould, Detective Chris Miller and Bill Blake, the Assistant District Attorney assisting grand jurors in their investigation of a number of unsolved murders, white collar crimes and official corruption.

Marsteller is currently an inmate in the County jail. She was the female lead in an alleged Bonnie and Clyde crime spree, early this year, with Joseph Misero. She was in the getaway car when he robbed the Palmer branch of the Wells Fargo Bank, and is accused of participated with him in two thefts from the nearby Sunoco A-Plus gas station.

Lt. Matt Gerould and Det. Chris Miller
She can now add criminal homicide and robbery to her resume. She's being arrested and charged today.

Humbert's homicide occurred years before, on March 5, 2011. At that time, Marsteller was living with him at his apartment on South 6th Street in Easton. He gave her crack cocaine. She gave him sex and cooked. But the crack cocaine was not enough. Neither was the methadone she was taking. So she stole $20-30 from Humbert's change jar for some heroin, and made a buy from her brother, a few doors away.

Though Humbert himself was a crack cocaine dealer, he had his standards. He confronted Marsteller when she returned, not only for stealing, but for purchasing heroin. Though she smoked 3-4 bags of crack cocaine, she told Humbert she wanted $30 for more heroin, so she would wake up without being "dopesick.". Humbert refused.

He eventually kicked her out. His neighbors, who lived in the apartment above Humbert, returned home from McDonald's around 2 a.m. to see him telling her to leave.

Ass't DA Bill Blake
"She was trying to smoke me out," Humbert told them. "She was begging faster than I could give."

About an hour later, they were awakened by the sounds of a struggle.

"I'll give you anything," they heard a male voice shout, followed by the sounds of sobbing, pushing shaking and two very loud slams.

The next morning. Marsteller and her brother, along with a third person, ran out of Humbert's apartment and into Easton Police Officer Anthony Chaney. She told Officer Chaney that she "was just in my friend's apartment and he has been beat up and is bleeding."

He was dead.

Police on the scene saw blood on the floor near Humbert's head, but no signs of a struggle in the room where they found him. It wasn't until an autopsy was performed that law enforcement realized he had been strangled.

DA John Morganelli
Instead of going public with the cause of death, they tucked that card away.

Police also took samples of blood stains found on Humbert, and did DNA testing. Eventually, Marsteller was identified as a minor DNA contributor.

Marsteller gave conflicting stories. She told police she was home alone with Humbert all night. A few days later, she told police that he was visited throughout the evening by people buying crack cocaine, and eventually ran out. She told the Grand Jury that she stayed with Humbert until he fell asleep, after which she stole a large jar of change to buy more heroin. She claimed that, when she returned in the morning, she found the door was ajar and Humbert was lying face down on the floor.

She told her drug salesman brother that she "wanted an alibi" and suggested to another that she had been with him.

Then she gave a jailhouse confession to another inmate, after an interview with Easton Detective Chris Miller had her frazzled. She told Trisha Serrao that she jumped on his back and strangled him, until he dropped to the floor, dead. Then she rummaged through his pockets, looking for drugs and money.

Aside from police, the only person who knew that Humbert had been strangled was the person who did it.

Humbert, incidentally, was in poor health. He suffered from diabetes and had a stroke.

Morganelli credited the Easton Police Department for their "exhaustive" work,

Lieutenant Gerould, however, called it a "team effort," noting that the Grand Jury is a "fantastic tool" that "allows us to put pressure and get people to speak to us when they don't want to talk." He added that "no matter how old they are," Easton police are actively investigating every unsolved homicide.

Morganelli, who uses the Grand Jury to work on unsolved murders, stated there are 35 of them in Northampton County.


Anonymous said...

Is Morganelli leading Santa's sled this year?

Anonymous said...

Judge Koury messed up again by demanding such an order. When are the citizens of NorCo going to wise up and demand this moron be removed from the bench?!

Bernie O'Hare said...

What are you talking about? Judge Koury ordered that an indictment be unsealed bc the Defendant was already in custody and the DA had an obligation to inform the public.

Peter J.Cochran said...

How much money does the City of Easton and The County of Northampton PUT OUT in salary ,overtime , costs to run the the court room Judges and county employees ,defendant lawyers and prosecutors salaries.office space typing and computers!! On and On ,Prison costs per day to house,Arraignment by Magistrate , --What does this cost?One drug dealer and a strangled drugie? How much does this cast the taxpayers.Cheaper to send them on a free cruse to Liberia.