[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----OHIO, DEL., USA
rhalperi at smu.edu
Sun Apr 15 17:16:04 CDT 2012
Flaws in law, judicial questions and costs of capital cases reinforce the moral
imperative to end capital punishment
A federal judge has opened the door for Ohio to resume executions. That doesn't
mean the state has to -- or should -- begin executing prisoners again.
In fact, this would be the ideal time for Ohio to repeal its capital punishment
statute, as this page long has advocated.
One of the Ohio law's authors, current state Supreme Court Justice Paul
Pfeifer, has become a very public critic of how the death penalty is applied.
Others who have expressed reservations about capital punishment include former
state prisons director Terry Collins, who oversaw 33 executions, and former
Ohio Attorney General James Petro, who helped Pfeifer draft the statute when
they were in the General Assembly and who has co-authored a book about wrongful
convictions. Petro, for one, is not yet ready to say that Ohio should abolish
the death penalty.
But legislation to abolish capital punishment in Ohio has been introduced. Its
passage would put Ohio in good company: Connecticut is close to becoming the
fifth state in recent years to end capital punishment, and a referendum this
November will give California a chance to join them.
This editorial page has long held that there is no moral justification for the
state to take a life. But there are compelling practical arguments against
executions as well. Capital cases cost far more to prosecute, in part because
appeals go on so long. And yet the growing list of exonerations, often based on
DNA evidence, raises the possibility that an innocent person might be put to
death. What just society would want that blood on its hands?
The litigation in U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost's Columbus courtroom was
far more limited. But it led him last November to impose a moratorium on
executions in Ohio, citing what he called the state's haphazard approach.
Frost noted that despite repeated promises to do better, state prison officials
again failed to follow their own procedures for carrying out capital punishment
when Reginald Brooks was put to death on Nov. 15, 2011, for the 1982 murders of
his 3 sons in East Cleveland.
Following a 7-day trial, Frost ruled this month that the state can resume
executions. His decision paves the way for Ohio's next scheduled execution --
of convicted Portage County killer Mark Wiles -- this Wednesday.
But in his written opinion, Frost let state prison officials know he will be
watching them: "The court reaches this conclusion with some trepidation given
Ohio's history of telling this court what (they) think they need to say in
order to conduct executions and then not following through on promised
Ohio's conduct of executions has faced sharp scrutiny since 2009, when
executioners tried for almost 2 hours to insert a needle into the veins of
Romell Broom before then-Gov. Ted Strickland halted the proceedings. Broom
remains on death row.
Prison is where Broom belongs until natural death claims him. Wiles, too. This
is no defense of the horrors they committed. But taking their lives in the name
of justice is wrong.
(source: Editorial, Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial Board)
Delaware’s Death Penalty Should Be Repealed
After almost 6 years out of the limelight, Delaware’s death penalty system
began grabbing headlines again when the state executed Robert Jackson in July
of 2011 and Derrick Powell and Leslie Small were sentenced to death in the
Shannon Johnson successfully petitioned the courts to drop his appeals and
hasten his execution. Barring unforeseen developments, Delaware will execute
again within the next two months, in our name.
If you oppose the death penalty, there were positive developments as well. The
murder conviction and death sentence of Jermaine Wright were overturned due to
withholding of evidence that supported his innocence, insufficient evidence to
support his conviction and other factors. That ruling is under appeal. Steven
Shelton and Jack Outten came off death row, after almost 20 years, when the
testimony of the state’s key witness against them was shown to be tainted.
And for the 1st time in Delaware history, the clemency petition of a death row
inmate was granted when Robert Gattis received clemency from Governor Jack
Markell, after the Board of Pardons recommended clemency on a 4-1 vote. His
death sentence was reduced to life in prison without parole.
For all the media coverage of these cases, there was little critical analysis
of our capital punishment system. I suspect that most readers, on both sides of
the issue, don’t realize that Delaware stands out among states with the death
penalty for its extremely broad death penalty statute and frequent use of the
death penalty despite its size.
In most states, the death penalty is reserved for the worst of the
worst—murderers who abduct and kill children, homicides with multiple victims,
or assassin/murder for hire cases. In Delaware, a defendant can receive a death
sentence for driving a get-away car even if he didn’t pull the trigger and
actually kill someone.
In all but 3 states, a jury makes the final decision regarding whether a death
sentence is imposed and in most of these states the decision must be unanimous.
In Delaware, Florida and Alabama, the jury makes a non-unanimous recommendation
to a judge, who makes the final decision about life or death.
The bottom line? Over reliance on the death penalty diminishes the value of
human life. A brutalization effect kicks in that research shows increases
incidents of violence after an execution. Murder rates are higher in states
with the death penalty. Racial bias taints the pursuit of justice. Tax dollars
are wasted on a flawed system and not used to help victims of crime or to make
our community safer. It’s time for a change.
State experiences vary with use of death penalty
First among states for executions is Texas, which has put to death 481
prisoners since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
Oklahoma ranks 3rd with 98 executions, including 2 in 2011. Earlier this year,
the state of Oklahoma executed Gary Roland Welch at the state penitentiary in
McAlester for the 1994 slaying of Robert Dean Hardcastle in Miami, Okla.
Oklahoma’s attorney general’s office also is appealing a stay of execution
issued for an inmate who was scheduled to die last week.
Garry Allen was set to die Thursday, but on Wednesday afternoon, federal Judge
David Russell issued the stay, ruling that Allen’s claims that he is insane and
ineligible for the death penalty should be reviewed.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office immediately filed its notice of
appeal with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In the appeal, the state
argues that courts have found Allen sane and that he’s capable of understanding
his execution is for the 1986 murder of Gail Titsworth.
Allen has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and his attorneys argue his mental
state deteriorated on death row.
Missouri has 47 people on death row and ranks fifth in the number of executions
since 1976, with 68.
The most recent prisoner to be put to death in Missouri was Martin Link, who
was executed on Feb. 9, 2011, for the 1991 kidnapping, rape and murder of
11-year-old Elissa Self-Braun, of St. Louis.
Chris Collings, of Wheaton, is the most recent Missourian sentenced to death
row. On March 23, jurors agreed on capital punishment for his kidnapping,
raping and slaying of 9-year-old Rowan Ford.
Others from Southwest Missouri on death row are Cecil Clayton, sentenced in
December 1997 by a Jasper County jury for the 1996 1st-degree murder of Barry
County Deputy Christopher Castetter, and Mark Christeson, sentenced in
September 1999 by a Vernon County jury for 3 counts of 1st-degree murder in the
1998 deaths of Susan Brouk and her 2 children.
Kansas now has 9 people on death row, including Gary Kleypas, who was sentenced
to death for the killing of Carrie Williams in 1996 in Pittsburg.
The death penalty was 1st abolished in Kansas in 1907 by Gov. Edward Hoch. In
1935, the death penalty was reinstated, but no executions took place until
1944. The state had the death penalty statute in effect until a 1972 U.S.
Supreme Court ruling struck it down.
After the 1976 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that reinstated the constitutionality
of it, numerous attempts were made to reinstate the death penalty. Gov. John
Carlin vetoed reinstatement legislation in 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1985.
The current death penalty statute was enacted in 1994 when Gov. Joan Finney
allowed it to become law without her signature. In 2004, the Kansas Supreme
Court ruled capital punishment unconstitutional, but it was reinstated after
the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Kansas death penalty was constitutional.
In 2010, the Kansas Senate was one vote short of voting to replace the death
penalty with life without the possibility of parole for the crime of aggravated
(source: The Joplin Globe)
Fight against death penalty gains momentum in states----Connecticut will be the
5th in 5 years to do away with it. The high cost to taxpayers is increasingly a
The fight against the death penalty is gaining momentum, opponents of the
practice say, with Connecticut's decision this month to abolish capital
punishment making it the 5th state in 5 years to so do.
"For this to be happening in succession, and coupled with the decline in death
penalty convictions, it creates a momentum that other states will at least
consider to be a part of," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the
independent Death Penalty Information Center.
Connecticut legislators voted to abolish the death penalty Wednesday, and
Democratic Gov.Dannel P. Malloyhas said he will sign the bill. Connecticut will
be the 17th state to do away with capital punishment and the 7th state to stop
the death penalty since it was reinstated as constitutional by theU.S. Supreme
Courtin 1976. The District of Columbia abolished it in 1981.
Opponents of capital punishment still cite moral and religious arguments — and
last week's vote in Connecticut was preceded by more than 9 hours of
gut-wrenching debate. But another force behind the recent trend is cost.
"Right now, budgets are still unbalanced in many states and programs are being
cut in many areas," Dieter said. "Schools, libraries and police forces … their
budgets are all being cut. Lawmakers are thinking of getting rid of things they
might not believe in that are expensive."
California spends an additional $184 million per year total on its more than
700 death row prisoners than if they had been sentenced to life without the
possibility of parole, according to a comprehensive 2011 study by Loyola Law
School in Los Angeles.
An Urban Institute study in 2008 found that a single death sentence in Maryland
costs almost $2 million more per case than a comparable non-death-penalty case.
"It's not just the cost in a vacuum," said Shari Silberstein, executive
director of Equal Justice USA, a national grass-roots organization that opposes
the death penalty. "It's not to say that if it was a good economic time, we'd
be supporting it. But people are weighing the cost … and realizing that the
death penalty is a very ineffective way to keep the public safe, especially for
Supporters of capital punishment say it should remain an option for those
convicted of heinous crimes and that the expense problem could be resolved
"Nobody favors the status quo. The question is, should you give up on justice
because you don't have the backbone to pass the reforms that are needed?" asked
Kent Scheidegger, legal director for Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, which
works to ensure what it calls "swift and certain punishment" to those convicted
"That's not the way a democracy is supposed to work. What they should be doing
is fixing the process," Scheidegger said. "My expectation is that repeal
efforts will end [with Connecticut] and reform efforts will work in other
But other states are already reconsidering the death penalty.
In California, an initiative on November's ballot will allow voters to decide
whether to repeal capital punishment.
Oregon issued a moratorium on executions in 2011 and is conducting a study of
alternatives to the death penalty. Pennsylvania also started a study of how the
death penalty has been applied there.
Bills proposing the end of capital punishment are pending in Georgia, Kansas,
New Hampshire and Washington.
Fear of executing innocent people has also driven the trend.
Illinois repealed the death penalty in March 2011 after a 10-year moratorium
that was imposed after courts threw out the death sentences of 13 men. By the
time the repeal was signed by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, 20 people had been
The exonerations highlighted a number of problems with the judicial system,
including wrongful convictions based on false confessions and erroneous
eyewitness testimony, the Northwestern University School of Law's Center on
Wrongful Convictions reported.
Opponents of the death penalty also argue that the process drags out grief for
the victims' families.
"The families don't want to hear about the case over and over again," said
Sarah Craft, a spokeswoman for Equal Justice USA. "Life without parole starts
Some survivors of murder victims have been part of the recent debate over
capital punishment. Victoria Coward of Connecticut was one of them. Her
18-year-old son, Tyler, was shot and killed in New Haven in 2007.
"When you lose somebody to homicide, you know what it's like to lose somebody
in one of the most hurtful ways possible," Coward said.
Prosecutors told her it would be too difficult to go through a trial and have
to see photos of her son's body riddled with bullets, and suggested offering
the killer a plea deal, which he took in 2010.
Coward lobbied lawmakers to end the death penalty and watched as state senators
voted on the issue. Her son's killer, Jose Fuentes Phillich, was 25 when he was
sentenced to 30 years in prison. She seems at peace with the decision.
"The death penalty doesn't help at all," she said. "If you have the nerve to
kill somebody, you should be able to sit there every day and think about what
Blair County has faced high number of death penalty cases in recent years
In her novel based on a 1936 murder of a 3-year-old boy, Celeste Yost refers to
her native Altoona as "a quiet central Pennsylvania town."
That's not entirely true, as Altoona has always had its sensational murders.
But up until recently they have been few and far between, with years between
killings that merit the death penalty.
Times have changed.
Since 2000, the Blair County courts have had eight death penalty cases,
starting with the 2000 trial of William Wright of Altoona who shot his
neighbor, to the most recent, the trial of Nicholas A. Horner, a Iraq war
veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, who killed 2 people
during a 2009 robbery and getaway attempt.
In between, there have been death penalty trials for Marie Seilhamer, Paul
Aaron Ross, Miguel Padilla, William Thompson, Andre Staton and Nathan T. Shaw.
Juries in 3 of those cases - for Wright, Padilla and Staton, all of Altoona -
have recommended the ultimate penalty.
Judge Hiram Carpenter sentenced Wright and Padilla to death and Judge Elizabeth
Doyle sentenced Staton to death, in each case stating, "May God have mercy on
The other 5 defendants are serving life behind bars.
In Yost's novel, a young mother, Margaret Karmendi, was having an affair with a
childhood friend, Roy Lockard. The two allegedly were concerned that Karmendi's
3-year-old son would tell his dad about the affair, so they killed the child in
brutal fashion and concocted a story that he had been hit by a car.
Under police scrutiny, their story crumbled within hours. It took just months
before Lockard was tried, convicted and sentenced to death.
He eventually died in Pennsylvania's electric chair.
Karmendi was tried 3 times and eventually landed in prison for a 10-20 year
sentence, thus the title of Yost's 2011 book, "Tried 3 Times."
Just as Altoona is no longer the quiet little community Yost remembers, the
court system has also changed from no longer considering the death penalty just
another day at the office as it did in the 1930s.
Each death penalty case today requires extraordinary efforts from prosecutors,
defense lawyers and judges. That's not to mention the strain on the jurors,
who, for instance, were told by Horner's death penalty phase lawyer, David
DeFazio of Pittsburgh, that he would move onto other cases, but they would have
to live with their decision - whether Horner got life or death - for the rest
of their lives.
While the defendants charged with the murder of little Matthew "Sonny" Karmendi
went to trial within months, the Horner trial took nearly three years to bring
before a jury.
After the jury trials come seemingly endless appeals with petition after
petition filed, not only by the local attorneys but by federal defenders and
nonprofit groups like the Defenders Association of Philadelphia, which opposes
the death penalty.
This interference in the state court system by federal attorneys drew fire last
year from the chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Ronald Castille.
Castille was commenting on the inability of Pennsylvania to move forward with
the death penalty because of the endless, complex appeals now being filed in
each case at both the state and federal levels.
He used an appeal involving Mark Spotz of Clearfield County, convicted and
sentenced for three 1995 murders - in Schuylkill, York and Cumberland counties.
The Defender Association in the Spotz appeal of the Cumberland County murder
conviction filed a 275-page brief containing 622 paragraphs.
"There is no legitimate, ethical, good faith basis for this obstreperous
briefing," stated the chief justice.
"But," he said, "the Defender has the resources and luxury to pursue a more
global agenda, and its conduct to date strongly suggests that, if it once
engaged in mere legitimate defense of particular clients, it has progressed to
the zealous pursuit of what is difficult to view as anything but a political
cause: to impede and sabotage the death penalty in Pennsylvania."
7 of the 8 death penalty defendants from recent Blair County trials are
appealing their convictions and sentences. Wright is fighting to withdraw all
"The Defender strategy, as revealed in this [Spotz] case, attempts to overwhelm
the state courts with volumes of claims and pleadings, many simply frivolous, a
strategy which burdens prosecutors and can shut down a trial for court for
weeks," Castille stated.
A spokesman for the Defender Association said he had no response to Castille's
Miguel A. Padilla in late August 2005 was upset that he had been denied
admission to the United Veterans Association on Union Avenue, an after-hours
Padilla, a Mexican native who lived in Altoona and who was raised in Gallitzin
after his mother brought her children to the United States to escape an abusive
husband, went to a car in the UVA parking lot and returned with a handgun
containing a laser scope. He opened fire, killing Alfred Mignogna, 61, a
retired school teacher and the owner of the club; Fredrick Rickabaugh Sr., 58,
who was manning the door that night; and Stephen Heiss, 28, a club patron.
On Feb. 1, 2007, Judge Carpenter imposed 3 death sentences on Padilla.
During that dramatic hearing, Fred Rickabaugh Jr., the victim's son, said,
"Look at me Miguel. ... I want you to be a man. I want you to tell me someday
why you did what you did."
The victim's wife, Janet "Sissy" Rickabaugh, said her husband was killed days
before the couple's 40th wedding anniversary. She said, "You shot my husband in
the back for no reason. ... There are no excuses for what you did."
It's been more than 5 years since the sentencing, and the Pennsylvania Supreme
Court is still reviewing Padilla's conviction and death sentences.
For Fred Rickabaugh Jr., now 45, the pain is evident. It has never gone away,
and the fact that Padilla remains in prison and the sentence imposed by the
judge has not been carried out is, for him, "very frustrating."
He commented that his mother, 63, who died on March 22, "will not get to see
He said he was not in favor of a quick execution for Padilla, because he wanted
him to spend time in a cell thinking about what he had done.
But, he said, 5 years is enough time to review the case.
"It is frustrating. When you hear a man is sentenced to death, you expect that
the sentence is to be carried out eventually," he said.
People say the death penalty has no deterrent value. He said that may be
because nobody in Pennsylvania has been put to death since 1999. Nobody is
afraid of the death penalty.
There is some consolation in Padilla's death sentence. It means he is on
Pennsylvania's "death row," serving his time in isolation, which gives him more
time to think, said Rickabaugh.
"That's got to drive a man stir-crazy," he said.
Rickabaugh said he doesn't talk much about what happened to his father,
particularly since the trial ended. But he said the brutal way in which his
father died never really leaves his mind.
When he hears the term "illegal immigrant," he thinks immediately of Padilla.
He said his family used to talk about the incident, but now, he said, "I bottle
it up. ... I try to go on with life. I will never forget what happened."
Extra pressure, preparation
Defense attorney Steven Passarello of Altoona represented Wright in the guilt
phase of his case and Shaw in the death penalty phase of his case. Shaw was
convicted in the murder of 6-year-old Jared Kline in Tyrone. Passarello is also
preparing for a death penalty case in Bedford County. He said compared to a
normal trial, "the pressure [of the death penalty] is ten-fold."
"You eat and sleep the cases. They can consume you," Passarello said.
Passarello said he believes the death penalty may be warranted in some cases.
He said, however, that he doesn't support the death penalty in most cases
because the system is imperfect. He said 120 people on death row nationwide
have been released from prison because they were convicted on bad evidence.
"That's 120 people who would have been killed," he said.
He said he doesn't believe the death penalty is a deterrent, and he said it is
more costly because of all the appeals.
According to Sue Bensinger, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of
Corrections, the last person put to death by the state was Gary Heidnik of
Philadelphia in 1999.
Heidnik kidnapped, tortured and murdered 5 women after holding them hostage in
the basement of his home. He was put to death after withdrawing his appeals.
According to Bensinger, there are 204 murderers on Pennsylvania's death row as
of April 2. That is a fraction of the 51,600 inmates in the state prison
It is rare for the Blair County district attorney to pursue the death penalty.
Prior to the Wright case, the most recent death penalty prosecution involved
James F. Rodgers, charged with the June 7, 1988, murder of Pasquale J. Lascoli,
This was the 1st case in the state in which DNA was used during trial to
convict a suspect. Rodgers was 17 when he stabbed the victim more than 70
times. His blood was found in the victim's right front pocket where the elderly
man traditionally kept his money.
A jury found the teenager guilty of 1st-degree murder. Rodgers, 41, is being
housed at the State Correctional Institution at Somerset.
After the Rodgers' trial, then-Blair County District Attorney Bill Haberstroh
said he believed "DNA fingerprinting" would be a valuable crime-fighting tool
for the future.
Leonard Bocchicchio also was 17 when he used a bowling ball in 1980 to kill the
proprietor of the Penn-Classic lanes on Route 220. He is 48 years old now and
is housed at the State Correctional Institution at Houtzdale.
In the years after he was sentenced to life, Bocchicchio wrote to Blair County
Judge Thomas Peoples stating, "I never thought my life would end up like this.
... There hasn't been a day gone by that I haven't hated myself for getting
myself in here."
In 1979, Charles "Butch" Soult of Altoona was charged with killing his
estranged girlfriend, Betty Shade. An FBI profile led police to Soult, who had
cut up the victim's body.
A jury originally sentenced him to death, but the trial judge, R. Bruce
Brumbaugh, tossed the death sentence because the jury had based its decision on
a faulty aggravating circumstance. Soult, 59, is serving his life term at the
State Correctional Institution at Huntingdon.
When 13-year-old Ronald Sharpless was arrested in 1966 for killing his mother,
the district attorney did not intend to seek death. But the jury found
Sharpless guilty of 1st-degree murder. When Blair County Judge John Klepser
told the jury they were to decide if Sharpless was to receive death or serve
life behind bars, the jury members objected, stating they didn't understand
that no other options would be available.
The judge ordered a new trial, at which point Sharpless was sentenced to 10 to
20 years in jail. He has since changed his name.
The only Blair County murderer executed in the last 50 years was Jeffrey Joseph
Daugherty, a serial killer.
Daugherty was 21 when he and his 41-year-old girlfriend, Bonnie Heath, both
from Michigan, visited Altoona in 1976 during a cross-country trip.
Daugherty murdered 26-year-old Elizabeth Shank during a convenience store
robbery and then a couple days later killed 18-year-old George Karns, who was
working at a Duncansville-area gas station.
Daugherty was convicted and sentenced to death for the Karns murder, but the
conviction was overturned when the state's death penalty was declared
He was transferred to Florida for trial in another killing. He was sentenced to
death and was executed in 1988 in Florida.
Carpenter said the death penalty forces people to examine their "core values."
As a judge, he said, he is not an "avenging angel." His role, he said, does not
His job, he said, is to provide a fair trial.
The victims' families should feel the trial was fair, but so should the
"Wasn't William Wright's mother a victim too? His sister too?" the judge asked.
"All of these things raise the stakes of a death penalty case," he said.
And after it's all over, Carpenter said, there's a 50-50- chance it will be
sent back to the county for a retrial.
Blair County is experiencing that last point right now. On Tuesday, Blair
County District Attorney Richard A. Consiglio will appear before Pennsylvania's
Superior Court arguing against a new trial for Ross in the Tina Miller
homicide. The court ordered a new trial last year, and Consiglio is asking that
decision be reversed.
Aggravating factors needed to make a death penalty case
Despite the controversy over the death penalty, the time-consuming process and
the unlikely prospect of ever seeing a defendant executed, Blair County
District Attorney Richard A. Consiglio believes in pursuing the death penalty
in the cases that are particularly brutal.
"If we have it [in the law], we have it. I won't back down on it," he said.
Consiglio said he is pro-life and has had people ask him how he can support the
"Pro-life means you protect innocent life. You don't protect murderers. I'm
opposing people who murder others. You oppose evil people. You try to protect
the innocent - period. I feel I'm doing that," he said.
He said he and his staff don't simply pursue a death penalty case based on
their personal feelings or whim. Consiglio said he looks at the case and "what
the guy did and why he did it."
If it appears to be the type of case that would warrant death, Consiglio said
he takes the next step to determine if under the law there are "aggravating
A prosecutor cannot pursue death if an aggravating circumstance is lacking.
Pennsylvania has 18 aggravating circumstances. They can include torture, the
killing of a law enforcement officer, the killing of a child under age 12, if
the suspect has a history of felony convictions or the killing was committed
during the perpetration of a felony.
In a death penalty trial, the jury must weigh the aggravating circumstances
against mitigating circumstances, such as the suspect's age, his family
background or his mental state.
In the recent Horner case, prosecutors Wade Kagarise and Jackie Bernard sought
the death penalty because Horner killed the two victims while committing
robberies, and because he killed the two within a short amount of time.
In a murder that occurred a month earlier, Consiglio decided not to pursue the
death penalty. That case involved 19-year-old Sean Allen of Hollidaysburg who
murdered college student Margo "Maggie" Davis and hid her body in the trunk of
Consiglio considered the death penalty because of an attempted sexual assault
of the victim but decided against it because he wasn't certain a jury could
find that such an act had occurred.
In 2010, Allen was found guilty of the attempted sexual assault and of
first-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison.
In another recent case, Shawn Patrick Dugan of Johnstown was charged with
killing a friend, Marcus Chromy, in 2009 at Blue Knob State Park. Consiglio
said there was evidence the killing fit the definition of first-degree murder -
an intentional killing - but no aggravating circumstances.
Dugan also was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life.
(source for both: Altoona Mirror)
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