ALLENTOWN---An jury in Lehigh County Court found Anthony Heath guilty of first degree murder and other charges in connection with the murder of 35-year old Angela Steigerwalt of Tamaqua.
"I think it's a great relief to the family. It starts a process of closure for the family, it was a difficult trial," said First Assistant District Attorney Steve Luksa.
Investigators said Heath became angry with Angela Steigerwalt, so on January 31st, 2014, he strangled her in his Allentown apartment, drove her body to Jim Thorpe, dumped it and set it on fire with a lighter and fluid he purchased at a Walmart store. Steigerwalt had to be identified using dental records, but detectives found the Walmart bag and a receipt inside which led them to surveillance video and Anthony Heath.
"Inside that bag was the first break in this case," said Luksa.
This was not a death penalty case, so according to state law, Heath will automatically be sentenced to life behind bars for the first degree murder charge, however, a formal sentencing has been scheduled for June 29th.
"A lot of hard work and a lot of sweat equity went into this case and it's appropriate result," said Luksa.
Heath acted as his own attorney during the trial in Lehigh County Court, something prosecutors called 'frustrating' at times.