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Man convicted of killing stepdaughter, burying her in yard

December 6, 1997

IRONTON, Ohio (AP) _ A man was convicted of murder Friday for killing his 7-year-old stepdaughter by shoving her after she wet her pants.

Seleana Gamble’s body was found in a trash can buried in the family’s back yard on Sept. 7, about three months after Jack Volgares killed her, prosecutors said.

According to authorities, Volgares yelled at Seleana for washing dishes improperly, then shoved her because she wet her pants. Seleana went into convulsions, lost consciousness and died during the night.

Volgares, 42, showed no emotion as the verdict was read. He was also convicted of child endangerment, three counts of kidnapping and illegal cultivation of marijuana. He faces up to life in prison.

``I believe he’s where he belongs, or going where he belongs,″ said Randy Brown, the girl’s biological father.

Volgares admitted burying the body with the help of his 28-year-old wife, Mona. The family left town, and relatives working in the yard noticed the smell and dug up the body.

Defense attorney Mike Mearan said the death was an accident. He did not call any witnesses because he said the prosecution did not prove its case.

Mrs. Volgares goes on trial Dec. 15 for involuntary manslaughter.

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