Groves Sentenced in Cold-Case Murder Trial

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. -- A murder investigation that went on for nearly 27 years in Clinton County came to an end as a man was sentenced Thursday for murder.

Loyd Groves of Harrisburg learned his fate for killing a woman in Lock Haven in 1991.

Groves was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison for the murder of Kathy Heckel.

A jury found him guilty of third-degree murder last month.

The sentence of 10 to 20 years is the maximum sentence because Groves was sentenced under guidelines that were in place back in 1991.

Groves was silent as he walked out of the Clinton County Courthouse in Lock Haven on his way to prison.

Groves and Heckel worked together at the Hammermill Paper Company in Lock Haven and were having an affair.

The case was unsolved for nearly three decades.

Groves was arrested in 2015 even though Heckel's body was never found.

"My wife's still not accounted for. It won't be over until we can put my wife's remains beside her father's," said the victim's husband John Heckel.

Heckel's husband and several other family members spoke at the sentencing.

Loyd Groves also spoke, saying, "I sympathize with anyone going through a loss, but the cause of this loss was not me. I committed no crime."

Groves' sentence of 10 to 20 years is the maximum. He was sentenced under guidelines that were in place in 1991 since that's when the murder happened.

"At the end of the day, that's how it would have been if we would have caught him back in 1991," said Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General Daniel Dye.

Groves' defense team plans to appeal.

Since Loyd Groves will be given credit for time served, he could be eligible for parole in six years.

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