Individuals who face murder charges in Pennsylvania, including Scranton, obviously face serious consequences. Per Pennsylvania law, defendants convicted of first degree murder face the death penalty or a sentence of life imprisonment, and those convicted of second degree murder face a mandatory life sentence.
There have been several murder cases and attempted murder cases in Scranton in recent months.
Man Arrested for Attempted Homicide in Scranton
Last month on April 16, 2016, a man was allegedly stabbed by a 19 year old man, Jonathan Varela, in front of a city home in Scranton, PA. Varela was arrested in late April and faces multiple charges, including attempted murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and simple assault charges.
According to a witness, the victim was walking toward his home when a car pulled up. The victim gave the passenger in the car, later identified as Varela, a high five. Varela then pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim. Varela then yelled at the woman behind the wheel to drive away. The victim later told officers in the hospital that he has known Varela for about seven years.
Scranton, PA Teens Charged with Second Degree Murder Tried as Adults
As we discussed previously, three Scranton area teens face serious charges after the death of a police officer. Last summer, the teens, who were 17 years old at the time, allegedly stole a car and went for a joy ride. When they exited the car, the teens were chased by police officers on foot. One officer died after he jumped over a wall during the pursuit. He fell 15 feet and struck his head on the concrete floor below.
Related: Scranton, Lackawanna PA Murder Case News – Teens Charged After Officer Falls Over Wall, Dies
The teens were charged as adults and faced serious charges, including second degree murder. The teens’ lawyers filed motions seeking to have the cases moved to juvenile court. Earlier last month, a Scranton judge denied the motions and ruled that the three teenagers will be tried as adults.
If the teens’ cases were successfully moved to juvenile court, the consequences would have been less severe. If convicted of second degree murder, the teens would have faced 30 years to life with parole. However, now that they are going to be tried as adults, they face a mandatory life sentence if convicted of second degree murder.
Top Rated Criminal Lawyers – Handling Murder, Felony Cases in Scranton, PA
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- www.thetimes-tribune.com (Jessup man arrested for attempted homicide)
- www.washingtontimes.com (3 teens to be tried as adults in officer’s death in fall)