A Superior Court panel rejected the request of a McKean County man to throw out two life sentences he received for murdering 2007 Norwin graduate Megan Konopka and her unborn son nearly four years go.
Thomas Haggie, 34, was sentenced to two life terms without parole by McKean County President Judge John Pavlock in 2011. He confessed to two counts of first-degree murder.
Konopka, who grew up in North Huntingdon, was 38 weeks' pregnant when she was killed on Sept. 13, 2009.
Haggie and Greggory Theobald, 24, admitted strangling and stabbing Konopka, 21, in a hotel room in Bradford. Haggie and Theobald were arrested after Haggie text-messaged photographs of the murder scene to an acquaintance in California.
In its nine-page opinion, the appellate court noted that Haggie did not raise any of his objections when he pleaded guilty in 2010 and was sentenced in 2011.
“In order to preserve an issue for appellate review, a party must make a timely and specific objection at the appropriate stage of the proceedings before the lower court,” the appellate panel stated in its opinion written by Judge David N. Wecht.
Haggie argued that his trial counsel should have objected to the imposition of consecutive life sentences following his guilty pleas, noted the panel of judges Cheryl L. Allen, Eugene B. Strassburger and Wecht.
“Although it is somewhat unclear on what basis (Haggie) seeks to overturn this alleged illegal multiple punishment, we need not reach the merits of this argument,” the panel said in dismissing Haggie's appeal.
Theobald pleaded guilty, as well, and is serving two life sentences.
Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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