Inmate denied sentence relief for brutal, hour-long attack on Lancaster City woman


LANCASTER, Pa.– An inmate serving decades for stabbing a Lancaster City woman numerous times during a home invasion in 2014 will not be receiving a new trial.

Elswart Bodden, 25, is in the midst of serving 37 ½ to 95 years for stabbing a woman repeatedly during an hour-long attack in her West Orange Street apartment.

Bodden argued in appellate court that he should receive sentence relief by claiming that he should’ve been allowed to have funding to hire an eyewitness identification expert while presenting his defense at trial.

On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Superior Court rejected Bodden’s argument, saying that an eyewitness expert would not have changed the outcome of the trial as police and prosecutors had “ample evidence” to convict Bodden of the crime.

During the attack, the victim, who was 30 at the time, was stabbed repeatedly during the home invasion. She was able to survive the attack and crawl to her cellphone while Bodden fled the apartment.

Judge Howard Knisely ruled that prosecutors presented the following evidence, aside from her eyewitness testimony, which connected Bodden to the crime:

– Police caught Bodden fleeing the woman’s block in a vehicle

– Bodden left his cigarettes and a cellphone on the victim’s porch. (DNA was collected from a cigarette butt.)

– Bodden admitted to going into the apartment

– The victim’s blood and DNA was on Bodden’s clothing

Last summer, the victim testified in specific detail about how the attacker ascended her stairs, as she organized an upstairs office, then beat and stabbed her in a room.

At one point, Bodden asked the woman if she had kids, and later asked how she was still alive with so many stab wounds.

He will remain an inmate at a state correctional facility.