Murder trial underway in 2018 homicide

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TUNKHANNOCK, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The trial of a Wyoming County man accused of killing his girlfriend, then dumping her body in the Susquehanna River is underway.

Phillip Walters is accused of killing 24-year-old Haley Lorenzen in December of 2018.

The jury was seated yesterday. Today was the first day of witnesses taking the stand in this case. Walters was arrested in January of 2019 and charged with his girlfriend Haley Lorenzen’s death.

Police say Walters choked her and beat her to death with a hammer on December 30, 2018.

Walters had help from Gabel Bell, a girl he had a sexual relationship with, to discard Haley’s body over the Falls Bridge into the Susquehanna River the same night.

Walters called 911 on the December 31 to report her missing.

Bell testified in court today, the only physical witness to the crime. Bell tried to recount the night Walters contacted her to come to the house and help discard the body.

She told the 12 jurors she remembers seeing Lorenzen’s body on the bathroom floor.

Bell said she felt threatened by Walters, which is why she went along to discard the body. She said it’s also why it took her 10 days to contact law enforcement.

Which then launched a six month search and recovery of Lorenzen on and around the Falls Bridge.

Her body was discovered on July 25 by a man walking near Bridge Street in Plymouth who spotted the body in the river.

Judge Dudley Anderson of Lycoming County is presiding over the case after the defense argued the case captured too much local and national attention.

In the trial today a co-worker of Bell, Lorenzen’s mother and aunt testified.

We were not able to speak with Lorenzen’s family because they are part of the trial.

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