DeSisti Accused of Threats Approaching Trial

By Matt Markham

June 10, 2011 Updated Jun 10, 2011 at 6:53 PM EDT

Towanda, PA (WBNG Binghamton) Pennsylvania State Police say it started as a land dispute and ended in gunfire. Now, the Waverly man accused of killing his cousin and her husband allegedly threatens prosecutors who are trying the case against him.

John DeSisti has been charged for shooting and killing David and Carol Keefe in their Athens Township home. But, taped prison conversations between DeSisti and his wife raise the question of whether or not he is now threatening the prosecution.

In those recordings, DeSisti allegedly says he wants two people's throats slashed and asks his wife to remember the name of a PA trooper investigating the case.

The defense argues that these comments were not criminal and should not be taken seriously.

Still, the Commonwealth wants to prohibit family members from visiting or calling DeSisti while he's held in Bradford County jail.

"These are threats that were made to the State Troopers who were investigating this case, as well as the statewide investigating Grand Jury," said John Flannery, prosecutor and Pennsylvania Senior Deputy Attorney General.

"It needs to be addressed by the court, it's why we filed our papers," Flannery said. That's why we're saying there should be no more communication. We can't let them conspire with this defendant, whether he's behind bars or not."

The defense says that decision is beyond the realm of the court's jurisdiction and asks prosecutors for more information regarding a conversation that a blood stain expert had with a State Trooper -- an expert who testified about the murder scene in the arraignment hearing.

The judge made a few comments today about her community connections to the Keefe's and the DeSisti's.

She said, and counselors agreed, that she can deliberate this case fairly.

Another hearing should be held at the end of July, with a decision about visitation and new testimony.

DeSisti could face the death penalty if found guilty.