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Samantha Young tried in vain to protect herself as she was stabbed at least 49 times, according to court testimony.

The 21-year-old mother, called Sami by friends and family, used her hands to try to shield herself from the attack, which is how her palms, hands and arms were repeatedly wounded, forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Johnson testified Wednesday at the conclusion of Marcus James Bordelon's preliminary hearing.

Bordelon, 22, of Chestnut Street in Wrightsville, remains in York County Prison without bail, charged with homicide, kidnapping, tampering with evidence, obstructing the administration of law, abuse of a corpse and conspiracy.

At the close of Wednesday's hearing, District Judge Robert Eckenrode determined enough evidence exists for Bordelon to stand trial in York County Court. He set Bordelon's formal court arraignment for Sept. 18.

The first part of Bordelon's preliminary hearing was held July 23 but a continuation was necessary because Johnson wasn't available to testify at that time, according to chief deputy prosecutor Tim Barker.

'Clusters' of wounds: Johnson performed an autopsy on Young's body April 21. He testified there were stab wounds and cuts all over her body, including clusters of stab wounds to her back and wounds to her neck, head, chest, arms and legs. The wounds penetrated into her heart, both lungs, liver and diaphragm, he said.

"There were at least 49 (stab wounds), and more than that, possibly," he said. "Forty-nine is probably a low number."

Johnson explained there were multiple stab wounds in various clusters — which he called co-mingling of pathways — "making it difficult to say whether (each wound) is one wound, two wounds or three wounds."

Johnson also testified that wounds to Young's face, elbows and stomach are consistent with being dragged, and that he found leaves, sticks and other debris in her hair and on her clothing.

He determined Young's cause of death to be multiple sharp-force trauma. There were no drugs or alcohol in her system, he said.

DA on death penalty: Barker and York County District Attorney Tom Kearney, both of whom were at the hearing, said they have not yet determined whether to seek the death penalty against Bordelon. Kearney said that decision will be made around the time of the Sept. 18 formal arraignment.

Kearney confirmed Bordelon's general homicide charge is being changed to first-degree murder.

During the July 23 portion of the hearing, prosecutors added a number of charges to Bordelon's homicide charge, including kidnapping.

On Wednesday, Barker confirmed the felony kidnapping charge could be used as an aggravating factor for the death penalty, assuming prosecutors decide to make it a capital case.

Bordelon and Young, of York Township, have a daughter together but were no longer involved. Arteya was 1 year old and was visiting her father the night her mother was killed there, police said.

Young's family members have said Bordelon lured her to his home by telling her something was wrong with Arteya.

Charging documents filed by Wrightsville Police allege Bordelon used a stun gun to keep Young from leaving his home, and that he then stabbed her repeatedly.

Body in shed: Officers responding to his home on April 19 found Young's body in a locked shed in Bordelon's back yard, documents state.

Defense attorney Kevin Hoffman, who represents Bordelon, declined comment after the hearing.

Bordelon's girlfriend, Natasha Marie Stover, also remains in prison without bail, charged with homicide, conspiracy and related offenses.

Police allege Stover and Bordelon exchanged emails about him killing Young.

They also say Stover, 19, helped Bordelon move Young's car away from his home, then drove him to Home Depot to buy bleach and lime.

In July she waived her right to a preliminary hearing. Her defense attorney, Suzanne Smith, said it's possible Stover could offer to cooperate with authorities.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.

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