Murder of David Swinehart by Jeffrey and Thomas DeBlase spotlighted on Deadly Affairs: Betrayed by Love

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Jeffrey and Thomas DeBlase were convicted of murdering their uncle, David Swinehart. Pic credit: stock image

Deadly Affairs: Betrayed by Love is spotlighting the case of David Swinehart, a wealthy real estate developer and newspaper publisher who was murdered by his nephews, Jeffrey and Thomas DeBlase.

On the night of Jan. 15, 1982, David went to his home in the 200 block of Maugers Mill Road in Upper Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, to visit his four children.

As he was leaving the home, he was approached by a group of men in the snow-covered driveway. They brutally beat him on the head with a baseball bat and fatally stabbed him 14 times.

They then put his body in the backseat of his red and white Cadillac and drove it to an alley in Pottstown, near an apartment building he owned.

On Jan. 18, 1982, David’s relatives reported him missing. Several hours after that, his body was found inside his vehicle.

The coroner could not remove the body from the vehicle because it was frozen. Only after towing it to the police garage and letting the body thaw were they able to extract him and perform an autopsy.

An investigation led to multiple arrests

In 1981, David, 43, and his wife, Patricia, filed for divorce. The day before he was murdered, he was supposed to remove her from his life insurance policy, which was worth over $500,000.

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Prosecutors believe that Patricia conspired with Thomas, who recruited three other men, Jeffrey DeBlase, Arthur Hall, and Terry Maute, to kill David for his life insurance money.

They also believe that she was having an affair with Thomas and that she wanted to continue their relationship.

In 1985, they were all arrested and booked into the Montgomery County Jail on murder charges.

Maute told the police that he was involved in the murder, but he said Patricia orchestrated it.

Patricia Swinehart was cleared of her husband’s murder

Patricia told investigators that she had nothing to do with her husband’s murder, and in January 1994, she was acquitted by a jury. 

Maute was also acquitted.

Hall pleaded guilty to a robbery charge, and he was sentenced to 29 to 59 months in prison. 

On Feb. 2, 1996, a jury found Thomas guilty of first-degree murder, and a judge sentenced him to life in prison. 

Jeffrey was also convicted of murdering his uncle, following four hours of jury deliberation. 

He was sentenced to life in prison. 

Deadly Affairs: Betrayed by Love airs Saturdays at 8:30 PM CST on Investigation Discovery.

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