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DA Kearney asks Gov. Wolf to grant execution of Hubert Michael

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Hubert L. Michael Jr.

YORK (WPMT)-York County District Attorney Tom Kearney is requesting Governor Tom Wolf  grant the execution of a man convicted of kidnapping and murdering a teenage girl nearly 22 years ago.

Hubert L. Michael Jr., 58, is scheduled to be executed on June 5. He was convicted in 1994 and sentenced to die for abducting and killing 16-year-old Trista Eng, of Dillsburg.

Wolf imposed a moratorium in February on the death penalty in Pennsylvania. Wolf said the moratorium would stand until the Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Commission on Capital Punishment, “has produced its recommendation and all concerns are addressed satisfactorily.”

Kearney wrote that “if there is to be a death sentence in this Commonwealth, Mr. Michael is the poster child for it to occur.”

The district attorney said that Michael has never denied kidnapping and killing Trista Eng. When Michael plead guilty, Kearney wrote, he told the court that he was angry about a pending rape case in Lancaster County and wanted to take his anger out on a woman.

Trista Eng was a totally innocent victim, simply walking to her summer job, Kearney said.

The district attorney wrote that granting a reprieve to Michael would make a mockery of the judicial system.

Pennsylvania has only executed three people since 1976, the year that the United States Supreme Court revived the death penalty. The last person executed was Gary Heidnik, who died by lethal injection in 1999.
Pennsylvania hasn’t carried out an execution in nearly 16 years.

Michael kidnapped Trista Eng as she was walking along Route 15 to her job at the Hardee’s in Dillsburg on July 12, 1993.  Michael tied up Eng and drove her to state game lands in Warrington Township. He shot Eng three times and hid her body in the woods.

 Michael, who was out on bail for an unrelated rape charge in Lancaster County, fled the state in a rented car. He was picked up on July 27, 1993 in Utah and extradited back to Pennsylvania.

In November 1993, Michael assumed the identity of another prisoner and escaped from Lancaster County Prison.  He was later captured in New Orleans and returned to Pennsylvania in March 1994 to face rape, murder and other charges.

Read DA Tom Kearney’s letter to Governor Wolf