Woman charged in Penn State professor killing

A second person was charged in the death of Penn State professor Ronald Bettig.

Danielle R. Geier, 32, of Lemont, faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree murder, third-degree murder, aggravated assault and tampering with evidence.

Geier was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker on Saturday night. She was denied bail and placed in the Centre County Correctional Facility.

Her formal arraignment has been scheduled for Monday.

Geier and George Ishler Jr., 39, of Pennsylvania Furnace, allegedly plotted to kill Bettig, who was their friend, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Geier and Ishler, according to an affidavit, thought they could benefit financially if Bettig died because the professor had recently signed a last will.

Court documents say the pair planned to drown Bettig in the ocean in Delaware but did not follow through. The affidavit said the two then planned the professor’s death on the way back to Centre County from Delaware on Aug. 12. Ishler allegedly pushed Bettig off Blackhawk Quarry — an 80-foot drop — in Potter Township on the same day.

Ishler reported Bettig, 56, missing on Aug. 15, prompting State College police to launch an investigation.

The case was turned over to state police on Wednesday, according to State College police Lt. Keith Robb, the same day Bettig’s vehicle was found near Blackhawk Quarry at Brush Valley and Rimmey roads in Potter Township. Police canvassed the area and found Bettig’s body in the quarry.

Ishler was charged with first- and third-degree murder in Bettig’s death on Friday.