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Trial jury selected for Joseph Belstadt murder trial in death of Mandy Steingasser

After 2 1/2 days, selection of a 12-member trial jury was completed Wednesday morning for the trial of Joseph H. Belstadt, charged with murder in the 1993 death of Mandy Steingasser of North Tonawanda.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon said opening statements are scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday. Assistant District Attorneys Mary-Jean Bowman and John P. Granchelli will share the prosecution opening. Michele G. Bergevin will respond for the defense.

In addition to the trial jury – nine women and three men – one alternate juror was chosen Wednesday morning. Two more were to be selected Wednesday afternoon.

Belstadt, 44, of the Town of Tonawanda, was charged in 2018 with the death of Steingasser, 17, whose body was found in a Lewiston park Oct. 25, 1993, five weeks after she was last seen alive.

Belstadt told police in 1993 that Steingasser was in his car in the early hours of Sept. 19, but he said he dropped her off in front of a North Tonawanda church where a man was waiting for her.

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