Judge grants Raszler defense request to access evidence from Horvath trial


A judge has denied a Lehigh County man's request to use information from another homicide case in his own murder defense.

The trial for Josef Raszler, charged in the 2016 killing of Stephanie Roof in Lower Macungie Township, was pushed back from August 24 to November 1, after the judge's ruling ahead of a status hearing Tuesday.

Raszler's defense team wanted to present evidence from a separate homicide case that they believe may be related.

Phil Lauer, Raszler's attorney, had said in April that the defense wanted to use evidence from Michael Horvath's case to show there may be evidence that Horvath killed Roof. The judge ultimately denied the motion.

Michael Horvath is accused of kidnapping, torturing and killing Holly Grim, who vanished from her Lower Macungie home in 2013. Authorities found her remains on Horvath's Monroe County property in 2016, the same year authorities say Raszler shot and killed Roof.

Raszler, Roof, Horvath and Grim all worked at Allen Organ Co. in Macungie at certain points. Horvath left Allen Organ in 2014, and Roof started working there in 2015.

In the past, investigators had strongly denied any connection between the cases, but Raszler's defense attorney had said there may be a connection.

A judge had previously granted Raszler's defense team access to evidence in the Horvath case. Horvath has yet to go to trial.

Authorities said Raszler and Roof had an intimate relationship before she broke it off in 2015. Officials said they believe Raszler built and used a homemade air gun to kill Roof, who lived across the street from him.

His trial is now set for November 1.

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