The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

April 4, 2014

JUST IN: DNA, video leads to trial in Wolfe sisters' slayings

PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh man may have to overcome extremely long odds — 13.7 quintillion-to-1 — when he stands trial on charges that he robbed and killed his next-door neighbors, two sisters of Iowa Rep. Mary Wolfe.

Democratic Rep. Mary Wolfe
Democratic Rep. Mary Wolfe
Democratic Rep. Mary Wolfe

Those are the odds a pair of sweatpants could belong to any other black man except the suspect, 43-year-old Allen Darell Wade, based on DNA found on the waistband, according to lab test results presented by prosecutors at a preliminary hearing Friday.

A city magistrate ruled Wade must stand trial based on the DNA evidence and nine surveillance videos Allegheny County prosecutors believe link Wade to the sweatpants, a vehicle and two bank cards belonging to victims Sarah and Susan Wolfe.

Defense attorney Blaine Jones said his client continues to maintain his innocence but acknowledged he'll have to overcome long odds if he can't find an expert to rebut the DNA evidence.

"The one item they believe he was wearing, the probability says it was Mr. Wade's," Jones said.

Police have yet to detail a motive for the killings. The victims were sisters of state Rep. Mary Wolfe, a Democrat from Clinton, Iowa. The lawmaker wasn't at Friday's hearing, and a handful of supporters didn't comment or identify themselves.

The sisters were found dead Feb. 7 after they didn't show up for work. Sarah, 38, was a psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, and Susan, 44, a teacher's aide at a private school.

Two detectives testified, one describing the crime scene and the other a computer expert who compiled clips from video surveillance cameras in the neighborhood where police believe Wade abandoned Sarah Wolfe's car before walking to an automatic teller machine.

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