A two-year long murder trial came to a conclusion last Friday in Pike County Court. 65 year old David M. Sampley was found not guilty by reason of insanity on 4 separate counts in relation to the death of 61 year old Sharon Welch who was found strangled in a home at 642 Clarksville Road in Pittsfield at approximately 7PM on June 4th, 2018.
Sampley was charged with aggravated domestic battery, aggravated criminal sexual assault, domestic battery with a prior conviction, and two counts of murder. A probable cause statement says that Welch was strangled with a sock down her throat, and had her chest stomped on during a domestic dispute at the home. Sampley was originally seen as a person of interest in the case until the execution of several search warrants and a lengthy investigation by Pike County Sheriff’s Deputies and Pittsfield Police surfaced evidence to arrest Sampley in the incident at the Clarksville Road residence and Sampley’s nearby home.
Judge Frank McCartney dropped one of the murder charges in the bench trial heard before the court at 2PM Friday. Sampley had originally been found unfit to stand trial in November 2018, and went through a year’s worth of status hearings on fitness before finally coming to trial this month. McCartney ordered the Department of Human Services to conduct an evaluation for in-patient treatment for Sampley, who may be remanded to an institution for the remainder of his life.
Sampley now returns McFarland Mental Health facility where he awaits hearing of commitment on July 23rd in Pike County court.