Friday, February 5, 2016

Witness: Murder, lover viewed as jokes

Accused spouse-killer Morgan M. Mengel allegedly told a friend that she might have gotten tripped up by text messages that police believe link her to Kevin Mengel's homicide, but she had plans to avoid a murder rap.

Witness: Murder, lover viewed as jokes


Accused spouse-killer Morgan M. Mengel allegedly told a friend that she got tripped up by text messages that police recovered - which linked her to Kevin Mengel's homicide -  but she had plans to avoid a murder rap.

Krista Young, a Coatesville woman who befriended Morgan Mengel in prison, said the two chatted daily and that Morgan Mengel began to trust her, dubbing the pair "Thelma and Louise."  When Young was released from prison after serving time for a probation violation, she wrote letters to Shappell telling him that Morgan Mengel had given birth to his twins in prison, which wasn't true. Young said Morgan Mengel wanted to dupe Shappell into taking the blame, thinking that his children would need their mother to take care of them. Young said Morgan Mengel urged her to find "cute pictures of my pretend beautiful boys" to send to Shappell. Young said she also delivered another lie, telling Shappell how much Morgan Mengel loved him. She said Morgan Mengel considered him an inept "joke," Young testified.

In fact, Morgan Mengel thought the murder was a joke, too, finding amusement in the fact that Shappell transported Kevin Mengel's body to his makeshift grave in his own landscaping truck, Young testified. She also found humor in the fact that Shappell unwittingly dropped a Live-Strong bracelet into the grave, Young said. "We always laughed about everything ... how it [murder] happened, how there was no evidence against her."

 Young testified that Morgan Mengel bragged that she had a "golden" lower-body part that enabled her to get men to do whatever she wanted, and she  she would never have been caught if police hadn’t recovered the texts she exchanged with Shappell before, during, and after the murder. But Young said her friend wasn't worried. “She told me her lawyer could convince a jury that they were a joke,” Young testified.

Defense attorney Jack McMahon dismissed Young's testimony, calling her a thief and a liar. The trial will continue tomorrow. For more details on Wednesday's testimony, visit  

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About this blog
Aubrey Whelan covers Chester County for the Inquirer. A native of a Philadelphia suburb so small it doesn't have a zip code, she grew up reading the Inquirer and was thrilled to take a job there in fall 2012. Previously, she covered crime, courts and D.C.'s Occupy movement for the Washington Examiner. Aubrey graduated from Penn State in 2011, where she worked for the award-winning campus newspaper and majored in journalism and French. Contact her at 215-495-5855 or You can also follow her on Twitter at

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