HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Dauphin County woman sentenced to life in prison for the murder of her newborn daughter is one step closer to having her sentence commuted and walking out of prison a free woman.
A unanimous recommendation from the Board of Pardons issued after the board's hearing Friday has been made to Governor Tom Wolf, who will have the final say on the matter of whether Tina Brosius will have her mandatory life sentence without parole commuted.
Brosius, who was 18 at the time, was convicted in the 1994 murder of her newborn daughter in a portable toilet at Brightbill Park in Lower Paxton Township, afraid she would be kicked out of her home after already having two daughters.
Her family provided powerful testimony as they pleaded with the Board of Pardons to give Tina Brosius a second chance.
"I'd take any chance I can get to talk to her," said Kerri Brosius, her daughter. "She has grown into such a wonderful and supportive mother and I think it's time for her to be free."
Tina Brosius has lived a model life while in prison, including taking college coursework and even conducting a TED Talk from SCI Muncy in 2014, her supporters testified.
Dozens of supporters, many of them from Calvary United Methodist Church in Harrisburg, crowded the Supreme Courtroom, where the hearing was held, and the Capitol Rotunda.
"A large family of faith, more than 1100 members, want her to know that she's home with them," said Rev. Dr. Ronald Parks, the church's pastor. "She's at home with them, whether she's physically removed from us or not, she always has a place in our hearts."
The Board of Pardons interviewed Brosius at SCI Camp Hill Thursday before holding the hearing on Friday, taking testimony from her supporters. No one spoke in opposition.
"I believe deeply in my heart that we should be more about second chances in our state, and I think that's the direction that the board of Pardons is going in now," said Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, who chairs the Board of Pardons.
There is no timetable on when a decision could be handed down on commutation by Gov. Wolf.
"We hope that the governor takes a long look at this and hopefully would consider the board's recommendation and accept that," said Steve Grose, Brosius's attorney. "We hope that he does that in a prompt manner."