No Motive Revealed In Case Of Slaim Amish Woman

After witnesses presented damning evidence, a Pennsylvania judge denied the defense’s motion to dismiss the charges against a man suspected of the murder of a pregnant Amish mother and her unborn baby on February 26. The case was ordered to the trial court for further proceedings.

52-year-old truck driver Shawn Cranston murdered 23-year-old Rebekah Byler during a home invasion.

She was six months pregnant.

Supporters of Byler’s GoFundMe page speculated that she was murdered due to mistaken identification, maybe stemming from a vendetta against the former occupant of her residence, after witnesses saw Cranston’s crimson Jeep at the location.

Defense counsel Gary Alan Kern claimed that prosecutors failed to establish a motivation or provide a murder weapon, but District Judge Amy Nichols denied the plea to dismiss the charges after Nichols discovered sufficient evidence during the preliminary hearing in Cranston.

A shattered knife and two expended cartridges from various guns were found at the victim’s residence, according to search warrants.

Authorities said Byler had been stabbed in the neck and had a wound on her head as if she had been scalped, in addition to wounds from a gunshot to the head.

Witnesses stated in court that a close friend saw Byler’s two children playing inside another room just before the murder. She took them outside and then called 911.

Julie Warner said that she was unable to check for a pulse but noted that Byler’s body was cool by the time she and the victim’s spouse, Andy Byler, arrived at the house.

Andy Byler said he had gone out earlier that day to verify progress on roofing projects while his spouse was washing laundry. When he entered the house with Warner, he saw his wife lying on the floor. As he entered, he saw her cap lying near the entrance. In court, Byler expressed his disbelief at what he saw.

Cranston was outfitted with a bulletproof vest. He remained silent throughout the whole hearing. He faced many charges, including trespassing, burglary, and criminal murder of an unborn child. State police claimed to have found firearms, ammo, knife components, and more during their investigation of the murder site, according to documents submitted in court about the search.  Cranston has been held without bail at the county prison since March 2nd.