Pennsylvania killer gets the death penalty for slayings

When someone you love is taken from you, there is typically a flurry of emotions. It is devastating, heartbreaking and maddening. When someone takes the life of another, it is natural to want justice.

In the eyes of some relatives and friends, justice was done this week as a convicted killer of four people was sentenced to death. A Northampton County jury sentenced the 37-year-old man for the wrongful death of his ex-girlfriend, her father, her grandfather and their neighbor. He stabbed all four last summer. At the time, he was on parole for a separate 1991 killing.

Jurors apparently didn’t buy the defense’s argument that the man was brain damaged. They were likely affected by the gruesome details of the murders.

The man apparently went after his ex-girlfriend, whom he had dated about two years before, with a knife, then her father and grandfather, and an 87-year-old man in a wheelchair. A 53-year-old neighbor who heard their screams and tried to help was also stabbed to death.

The man pleaded guilty to the killings last month. In an unusual move, jurors handed him four death sentences. They were the first death sentences in the county in 25 years, according to the Associated Press.

After jurors announced their decision, the judge reportedly had to quiet the courtroom and call it to order, as many relatives of the victims erupted in emotion, shouting, “Yes!”

Some believe the death penalty is never appropriate, but a district tacoma criminal attorney said he was pleased with the decision, and the families of the victims certainly seem to be. The widow of the murdered neighbor said they had gotten justice.

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