Teen Charged as Adult in Killing of Ex-Girlfriend and Her Mother

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 04, 2023 | 0 Comments

A 17-year-old male was recently charged in the stabbing death of his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend and her mother in North Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, just north of Allentown. According to police, the 17-year-old then stole the mother's car and crashed it, injuring himself and a 14-year-old female passenger. Investigators found a stained knife and shirt in the car and say that DNA evidence from the crash and from the home linked the 17-year-old to the killings, while camera footage from the home placed the two at the scene on the night before the crash.

The 17-year-old has been charged with two felony counts of criminal homicide and one felony count of theft relating to the stolen car. The defendant is being tried as an adult.

Any criminal charge is serious, but felony homicide charges are particularly so. And when the defendant is a juvenile being tried as an adult, the consequences of a conviction could lead to decades of prison time. If you or a family member has been charged with a serious crime, contact the LLF Law Firm for help at 888.535.3686 or use our online link to set up a confidential consultation.

When a Juvenile Is Tried as an Adult

In certain cases where a teen commits a serious crime, prosecutors may elect to charge the defendant as an adult. This raises the stakes considerably because, under Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system, juvenile cases are handled by a completely different court system, and consequences if a juvenile is convicted (or “adjudicated delinquent,” which is the term used for juvenile convictions in Pennsylvania) are much less serious than if an adult is convicted of the same offense.

Certain serious crimes, however, when committed by a juvenile who is 14 years of age or older, can lead to prosecution of the defendant as an adult. The analysis in these situations is on whether the alleged crime would be a felony if committed by an adult and whether “the public interest is served” by trying the defendant as an adult.

Consequences for Felony Convictions

The sentences that a court can impose for a felony conviction in Pennsylvania are severe. Certain felonies, such as murder, can result in a life sentence or even the death penalty. First-degree felonies can result in a 20-year jail sentence and fines of up to $25,000. A conviction on a second-degree felony count can result in a 10-year sentence in addition to the same fine.

The LLF Law Firm Can Help You Defend Yourself Against Felony Charges

The experienced criminal defense attorneys at the LLF Law Firm have helped defendants all across Pennsylvania who have been charged with serious crimes. We have a thorough understanding of Pennsylvania criminal law and court procedures and will aggressively defend your rights – whether you're an adult or a juvenile – in all types of criminal proceedings. Whether you've been charged in criminal court or under Pennsylvania's juvenile justice laws, you have the right to a strong defense and are entitled to a presumption of innocence.

The sooner you contact the LLF Law Firm, the better we will be able to help you with your case. Call us today at 888.535.3686, or use our online contact form to set up a confidential consultation. You have the right to an attorney, and we are here to help.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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