OFFICER ADMITS STATEMENT FALSE
PFICER I1DWIIT8 STinm FALSE Peace Officer Charged In Death Of Hotelman Retracts Assertion He Heard Monaghan Fall As Trial Moves On Somerset, Pa., Feb. 20. (ff)—One of the .seven peace officers charged i with the "third degree" death of Frank C. Monaghan retracted today a previous statement that he heard the 64-year-old hotel man fall In the Fayette county detectives BertlUon room.. Tho defense contended at the trial of State Trooper Stacy Gunderman, that Monaghan was a "vl- ciolu.' character, thit he attacked Gunderman and died'last Sept. 12 after a fall while oftlders questioned him about the cutltng of County Detective John C.. Wall.^ Wllbert Minerd, assistant cotmty detective, testified under cross examination by Attorney General Charles J. Marglotti, that he had made his earlier statement about the fall 'to help his officers." Marglotti questioned: 'Didn't you tell Corporal (Joseph) Conwell you heard Monaghan fall?" "I made that statement while 1 was In jail. Corporal Conwell told me It was strictly confidential, that it was to help his officers.' Supreme Court Justice George W. Maxey. presiding, asked: "Is it true?" Minerd answered: " It is not true." Marglotti asked: "You gave him a statement?" "Yes, as a friend. It was supposed to be in confidence, for the benefit of his officers." Marglotti then showed him the statement and asked him If he had made It. H& answered: "I don't believe I made that." He said, however, that his signature appeared beneath the statement. A section of the statement which he said was not true read: "During the night I was In and out of the office while Monaghan was being questioned and at no time did I see anybody strike him. But while he was taking a shower bath, I heard him fall on the tile floor. In my opinion Monaghan was Intoxicated." The commonwealth has charged 12 men were involved In Monaghan's death. Besides the seven charged with murder. Coroner S. A. Baltz,' two physicians and two undertakers are acused of "concealing facts." Tlie trial was transferred to Somerset on a change of venue from Unlontown, where Monaghan met death.