A Pennsylvania man who is already awaiting trial on multiple federal offenses is now accused of additional crimes. The new federal charges carry a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison. As it stands, the punitive repercussions for a conviction on the multiple felony charges are severe and would have an enormous impact on the rest of the man's life. Avoiding that outcome is likely his top priority as the case against him moves forward.
He is already charged with trafficking heroin, in addition to federal weapons charges. Recently, federal prosecutors added two counts of witness-targeting, asserting that the man took action to try and have a witness in a related case murdered. Those charges were filed in a nearby jurisdiction, because the conspiracy allegedly took place while the man was housed in prison within that area.
According to the prosecution, the man tried to talk another inmate and a third party into killing two witnesses. Within the indictment, prosecutors made mention of the shooting death of a witness in another case against the man. As the witness was preparing to leave to meet with federal prosecutors, she and her mother were shot at nearly 30 times, and the witness was struck and killed. No charges have been filed in that case, but prosecutors believe that the man's cell phone and DNA evidence were found at the scene of that shooting.
As these multiple felony charges move forward, the evidence against this Pennsylvania man continues to mount. His defense attorneys will review all of the evidence in each case and will work to devise a strategy that is in the man's best interests. It is impossible to predict how the matter will ultimately be resolved, but there is no doubt that avoiding conviction and the subsequent sentencing process is a top priority for the man and his legal team.
Source: lancasteronline.com, "Pittsburgh man charged with trying to have witnesses killed", Joe Mandak, Nov. 5, 2015