TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Somerset Co. man pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter

Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, 10:18 a.m.
 

Somerset County

Meyersdale

Man pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter

A Meyersdale man avoided a potential life sentence under a plea agreement Wednesday when he agreed to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter in connection with the choking death of his ex-girlfriend in 2012.

Jonathan Beal, 24, of Meyersdale also pleaded guilty to abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence for burying the body of 19-year-old Justine Jackson near the Great Allegheny Passage hiking and biking trail outside Meyersdale.

Her remains were found Nov. 11, nearly two months after the date Beal acknowledged killing her — Sept. 14, 2012.

The potential maximum prison sentence for voluntary manslaughter is 10 to 20 years. Beal, who originally was charged with murder, could have faced a mandatory life sentence if he were convicted of first-degree murder

Somerset County public defender Steve Miller said Beal didn't mean to kill Jackson when they argued about whether to reconcile, according to The Associated Press. Miller says Beal didn't want to resume their relationship.

District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser said prosecutors agreed to the lesser charge because they weren't sure they could prove Beal intended to kill, according to wire reports.

Judge John Cascio ordered a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing at 9 a.m. Nov. 26.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates’ Worley tosses 4-hit shutout vs. Giants
  2. Westmoreland women stole thousands to finance dog show appearances
  3. Steelers hoping that youth movement breathes life into team
  4. Steelers notebook: Team hasn’t called on Keisel, Harrison yet
  5. Inside the ropes: Shazier shows off speed
  6. Pirates expect high prices in trade market
  7. Pittsburgh Brewing tries to reconnect with region, return to glory days
  8. Police say naked woman stabs three women during street fight in McKees Rocks
  9. Steelers linebacker Spence confident he can avoid injury setbacks
  10. Pennsylvania Turnpike Southern Beltway extension gets funding
  11. Glassport Scout completes Eagle Project
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.