Keith Wolfrey, the 23-year-old Boyertown native and Ellwood City resident charged in the killing of his girlfriend Joie Lordi, will stand trial, but before that, the next step of the criminal procedure in Pennsylvania must take place.
Scheduled for the morning of Sept. 7 before Judge Dominick Motto in the Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas, the formal arraignment will be held.
This arraignment typically occurs about 30 to 60 days following the preliminary hearing. The defendant is given a copy of the information sheet and advised of his/her rights. Although called a “formal” arraignment, the procedure is quite informal. This is also the time that the defendant enters their guilty or not guilty plea.
Last Thursday, Wolfrey’s preliminary hearing took place at the Lawrence County Courthouse. During the hearing, testimonies from Ellwood City officers Chris Hardy and Michael McBride detailed the finding of the crime scene during the morning of May 22.
The two officers were patrolling separate areas when they received the call. At the scene, they found Wolfrey on the front porch of the residence at 804 Pershing St., Ellwood City, with Gavin, the child he fathered with 20-year-old Lordi.
Officer Hardy entered the residence while McBride remained outside with the accused. Hardy found the body of Lordi in the kitchen with duct tape over her face. Wolfrey was immediately taken into custody.
According to court records, the incident all began the night of May 21 when Lordi returned home around midnight and demanded Wolfrey give her the key to the residence and leave, as they were breaking up.
This allegedly escalated into a fight, and Wolfrey told police Lordi grabbed him by his beard. Wolfrey then told police he put his hands around Lordi’s neck and blacked out.
Court records said that Wolfrey awakened twice during the night and found Lordi’s body in the kitchen but did not call police until the following morning. On the morning of May 22, around 10 a.m., Wolfrey called authorities.
Wolfrey is being held on charges of homicide and abuse of a corpse and remains in the Lawrence County Jail without bail. The Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office has yet to determine if they will seek the death penalty against Wolfrey.