It has been five years since Connie Mellon was found dead in her Old Town house in Alexandria. On Oct. 4, 1980, police say, she was raped, bound and shot in the head. Mellon had just moved to Alexandria from New York to work for Time-Life Books, and the brutal killing received wide publicity.
On Aug. 3, 1981, an Alexandria grand jury indicted Frank Weston for murder. But he had been found guilty of murdering a Pittsburgh shoe store clerk, and Virginia officials were told they would have to wait to try Weston until his sentence was pronounced.
They still are waiting.
Weston was sentenced to life in prison April 10 for the killing in Pittsburgh, after sitting in the Allegheny County Jail for four years. Although Judge Henry R. Smith Jr. of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas found Weston guilty of first-degree murder, he refused to impose sentence, saying he believed that a jury should decide between life or death.
The day that Weston was sentenced in Pittsburgh, he he was driven to Alexandria to be tried in the slaying of Mellon.
But again, delays have plagued the case. The trial was to be in July, then October, and now it is set for January, according to John E. Kloch, the commonwealth's attorney.
Kloch said that, because the case is old, the defense has had difficulty in locating witnesses that it considers vital. Last week, Kloch agreed, on behalf of the government, to aid the defense in locating the witnesses in order to reduce the delays.