A Harrisburg jury has found a man guilty of third-degree murder for killing and setting fire to a woman in the Hershey area.
Calvin Purdie Jr faces a de facto life sentence after a Dauphin County jury convicted him of third-degree murder in the strangling and burning death of a Hershey-area woman in May 2019.
Members of Charlotte Chaplin’s family were tearful but relieved at the jury’s decision, which came after 4 12 hours of deliberation.
Kenneth Martin, Chaplin’s son, said, “It’s been a real burden on our family.”
Purdie, 35, of Harrisburg, was also found guilty on three counts of arson by the jury.
They found him not guilty of the most serious charge against him, first-degree murder.
Calvin Purdie Jr. is a member of the Purdie family.
During the four-day trial, District Attorney Fran Chardo and co-counsel Kelly Callihan argued that Purdie killed the 49-year-old Chaplin in her West Chocolate Avenue home’s bedroom early on May 23, 2019.
He then set fire to the room, according to the prosecutors, in an attempt to destroy evidence.
Purdie’s DNA was found under Chaplin’s fingernails, and scratches on his body were said to have been made by Chaplin as she fought for her life, according to Chardo and Callihan.
Purdie, Chaplin’s daughter’s boyfriend, was staying at Chaplin’s house at the time of the slaying.
First Assistant Public Defender Paul Muller and Public Defender Elizabeth Ruby argued that the murder was committed by a stalker or one of Chaplin’s former lovers.
Purdie was facing his second trial for Chaplin’s murder.
After seven hours of deliberation, the jury in his first trial in April was unable to reach a decision.
W. T. Judge
Purdie’s trial has been set for January, according to Tully.