Man charged in Erica Klinger’s death will go to trial; Klinger’s parents react to testimony

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Luis Lugo-Davila will go to trial for the death of Erica Klinger. Wednesday, a Dauphin County District Judge found enough evidence to move the case forward. Lugo-Davila wouldn’t answer our questions as he was led into his preliminary hearing. But, once inside we witnessed him smiling and quietly laughing before the hearing started.

Harrisburg Police Sergeant Gabriel Olivera testified that Lugo-Davila told him he, “lost it,” inside a Hollywood Motel bathroom in Swatara Township. Lugo-Davila says he dragged Klinger by her hair to the bathroom during an argument and then put Klinger in a choke hold three times. The next thing he remembers is seeing her on the floor – not breathing.

Erica Klinger’s parents told FOX43 it was hard listening to the testimony. “He’s a piece of (expletive). He could strangle a young little girl, that weighs 90 pounds, why can’t he pick on someone bigger?”

Sergeant Olivera went on to say Lugo-Davila then told him he put Klinger’s body in the back of a vehicle. He says his girlfriend, Maria Lara, drove to a rural area in Perry County. Lugo-Davila admitted to police he left Klinger’s body in an area off Route 11-15.

Maria Lara has not been charged in Klinger’s death.

“If there was sufficient evidence to charge her with homicide she would be. Now that’s not to say that that won’t change. Homicide investigations are living breathing things, they are always on going so that’s the status as of today, whether that changes remains to be seen,” says Dauphin County Assistant District Attorney, Johnny Baer, when asked why.

Lara had her preliminary hearing Wednesday as well, but waived her charges. She’s charged with theft and hindering apprehension to police. Lugo-Davila will have the opportunity to enter a plea at his formal arraignment on September 26th.