Second person charged in death of Penn State professor

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Aug. 21 (UPI) — Police charged a second person in the death of a Penn State professor early Sunday, days after his body was found at the bottom of a quarry on August 17.

Danelle Rae Geier on Sunday joined George Ishler, who was arraigned Friday, on charges they allegedly plotted and carried out the murder of Penn State professor Ronald Bettig because they thought his will left them money, the New York Daily News reported.

Geier, 32, and Ishler, 39, allegedly planned the murder for two weeks, partially because Geier was angry with Bettig, 56, for criticizing how she was raising her son and they thought he had added her to his recently signed will, according to police.

Geier and her son were living with Bettig when she and Ishler allegedly started planning to kill him during a trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, agreeing Ishler would drown him in the ocean, the Centre Daily Times reported.

Geier allegedly told police that when Ishler did not kill Bettig in the ocean, they agreed to lure him to a quarry to harvest marijuana. Police said in court records that Ishler told Geier the plants were close to the edge of the quarry and Bettig might fall, but if he didn’t Ishler would “help” make sure it happened.

The two are accused of staging a scene near the quarry edge, leaving his car with items from his house nearby, and reported him missing to police on August 15. Police found Bettig on August 17, dead of the 80-foot fall from the quarry’s edge.

Geier and Ishler have a history with drugs, Geier’s sister, Angela Hill, told WTAJ-TV, but that whatever their issue with Bettig was nobody deserves to be murdered.

“She deserves whatever punishment she gets,” Hill said of her sister, explaining the associate professor of media studies had invited Geier and her son to live with him when they were homeless.

Police have charged Geier and Ishler with first- and third-degree murder, aggravated assault and tampering with evidence, in addition to Geier’s charge of conspiracy to commit murder.

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