Michael Conforti was sentenced to death by the State of Pennsylvania for the sexual assault and murder of a woman. According to court documents Michael Conforti and James Bellman would leave a bar with the victim who was later sexually assaulted and murdered. Michael Conforti and James Bellman would be arrested and convicted. James Bellman would commit suicide in prison and Michael Conforti was sentenced to death
Michael Conforti 2021 Information
Parole Number: BQ0537
Date of Birth: 04/10/1955
Height: 5′ 11″
Current Location: PHOENIX
Permanent Location: PHOENIX
Committing County: WAYNE
Michael Conforti More News
On December 20, 1990, Kathleen Harbison, the victim, was with her friend Sue Fritz at Cousins Restaurant and Bar in Wayne County. While there she was seen in the company of appellant and James Bellman, both of whom she had met for the first time. During the early morning hours of December 21, 1990, Ms. Harbison left the bar to warm up her car while Ms. Fritz said goodbye to some friends. A few minutes later Ms. Fritz found Ms. Harbison’s car in the parking lot with the engine running, the driver door locked, the passenger door unlocked, the heater running, the radio on high volume and Ms. Harbison’s purse on the seat. Ms. Harbison was *534 nowhere to be found. Bellman was seen in his car, parked next to Ms. Harbison’s car, before Ms. Fritz came outside.
A neighbor of appellant’s in Pike County testified that at around 2:30 a.m. on December 21, 1990, she heard a car come down the road and then heard appellant’s voice, Bellman’s voice and also heard a female voice “holler” something. (N.T. 9/16/91, p. 193-194). A friend of appellant’s testified that she went to see appellant at his trailer home at 3:30 a.m. on December 21, 1990 but got no response when she banged on both the door and the window. She stated that appellant’s car was at the trailer but Bellman’s car was not there. (N.T. 9/18/91, p. 182). The following day, this friend was visited by appellant and Bellman. They tried to convince her that she was mistaken and must have seen Bellman’s car there. She would not change her story and they left.
Kathleen Harbison’s body was found on December 22, 1990 in a secluded wooded area in Wayne County. The cause of death was multiple stab wounds. She had been stabbed twelve times. Four of the wounds were lethal. There was evidence that Ms. Harbison had been bound at both at the wrists and ankles by handcuffs and that the acts were committed by more than one individual.
Analysis of swabbings from the victim’s body revealed the presence of sperm from the same blood type as that of Bellman’s. A foreign pubic hair found within Ms. Harbison’s combings was similar to appellant’s. Soil samples taken from Ms. Harbison’s shoe were similar to soil samples taken from behind appellant’s trailer and not similar to soil samples taken from the scene where her dead body was found. Divers recovered a knife and handcuffs from under the Ledgedale Bridge, eight-tenths of a mile from appellant’s trailer. Another set of handcuffs and Ms. Harbison’s eyeglasses were found across the road from appellant’s residence. A ring found in appellant’s burn barrel outside of his trailer was identified as belonging to Ms. Harbison.
Bellman testified as follows: On December 21, 1990 at approximately 2:00 a.m., he and Ms. Harbison left the bar in *535 Wayne County and went to appellant’s trailer home in Pike County. Appellant forced Ms. Harbison to engage in oral sex after directing Bellman to handcuff Ms. Harbison. Appellant then indicated to Bellman that he wanted to kill Ms. Harbison. The victim was then placed in Bellman’s car and driven to an isolated dirt road in Wayne County where she was pulled from the car by appellant and Bellman. Appellant then repeatedly stabbed Ms. Harbison with a knife he had obtained from his trailer before they had left.
Bellman further testified as follows: that after the killing, he and appellant stopped at the Ledgedale Bridge where appellant threw the knife and handcuffs into the water. They then burned all of their blood-stained clothing and the car mats from Bellman’s car in appellant’s burn barrel and cleaned and vacuumed appellant’s trailer and Bellman’s car. Bellman identified the knife recovered from under the bridge as being the murder weapon.
Based upon the foregoing evidence, a jury convicted appellant on September 20, 1991 of murder of the first degree