As the Shefelbines turn

This story gets more bizarre with each passing day.

Yesterday the mother of Scott Shefelbine testified in her son’s bail revocation hearing. Her alibi for her son was that he was at church and not trying to molest a 14-year-old girl. Was church really the best thing she could come up with?

Scott D. Shefelbine was not in West Hartford on the evening of April 19 trying to hook up with a 14-year-old girl, but at Victory Tabernacle Church in Middlefield praying for the Virginia Tech massacre victims, his mother told a Rockville Superior Court judge Wednesday.

Gail Shefelbine’s offer of an alibi for her 32-year-old son, accused of sexually assaulting several teenage girls, came during the second day of a hearing on the state’s effort to send Shefelbine to jail until his trial.

The defense offered a dated church bulletin as evidence of the April 19 visit to Victory Tabernacle.

Gail Shefelbine also said that on May 13 and May 20 she was at church with her son – at St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in West Hartford. Under cross-examination, she acknowledged that she unsuccessfully sought after the fact to obtain a dated church bulletin to offer as proof of the May 13 visit.

The defense Wednesday presented a May 20 church bulletin from St. Thomas and date-stamped photographs of Gail and Scott Shefelbine in front of the church. Gail Shefelbine testified they posed for the shots as further proof they were there May 20.

Shefelbine’s mother also said an elderly nun at the church wrote on the bulletin “Gail and Scott were here.”

The electronic monitor shows that Shefelbine was out of his house from 4:45 to 5:53 p.m. May 20. Gail Shefelbine and Cooney testified that they arrived at the church late and stayed only about a half hour, leaving before communion because as non-Catholics they could not partake.

Leaming wasn’t buying it. “You arrived late, left early and you drove all the way to West Hartford to attend Mass?” Leaming asked. Yes, Gail Shefelbine responded.

Leaming also asked whether “anything on [the May 20 church bulletin] proves you were at that church on that date?” Shefelbine responded that she did not know. When Leaming asked her whether date stamps on a digital photo, such as those of her and her son at the church, could be manipulated, she replied: “I have no idea.”

For those of you who aren’t Catholic, this is an old Catholic trick that most of us did when we were kids. Back in the day when you could send your kids to church alone, my parents would always make me bring back a church bulletin to prove that I was there. So I would go to church, grab a bulletin, and then run off to the mall. It worked on Mom but not Dad and I sure as hell wouldn’t use it as a defense in criminal proceedings.

His sister’s explanation wasn’t much better.

The girl and her sister have identified Shefelbine in court, but said he looked different in May. They said he didn’t have a beard as he does now.

Cindy Shefelbine, the suspect’s sister, testified on Wednesday that her brother has had a beard for nearly a year. Photos taken in May, just a day or two before the victim said she saw Scott Shefelbine, were shown in court on Wednesday. The pictures depict that he did have a beard.

Channel 3 Eyewitness News reporter Susan Raff reported Cindy Shefelbine appeared agitated when asked about her brother’s whereabouts.

Cindy Shefelbine said her brother was with her at church the day that one of the victims said Scott Shefelbine came to her home. Prosecutors asked whether Cindy Shefelbine felt her brother was being unfairly prosecuted and she said she didn’t know what that meant.

So there best explanations for Shefelbine’s whereabouts are church and a beard. Are you sure it wasn’t the one-armed man? Or maybe Shefelbine was saving babies from burning buildings at the time? Good luck with that.

Proceedings are scheduled for today as well.

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