Saying her attorney was ineffective in her trial, Jamie Silvonek's new attorney is asking to have her murder conviction and 35-years-to-life sentence overturned. The now-18-year-old Silvonek was 14 when she and her boyfriend Caleb Barnes stabbed Silvonek's mother to death in the driveway of the Silvonek's Upper Macungie Township home. Lawyers from the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia say Silvonek's previous attorney, John Waldron, failed to provide an adequate defense. They are also asking Judge Maria Dantos to recuse herself from the appeals process. Barnes and Silvonek killed Cheryl Silvonek after she tried to get her daughter to break off her relationship with the then-20-year-old Barnes.
After a Northampton County jury said they were split 7-5 on whether Dekota Baptiste should get the death penalty for murdering a man in the parking lot of a Palmer Township AutoZone in 2017, Judge Samuel Murray ruled Baptiste will instead get life in jail without parole. Abe Kassis prosecuted the case and says he understands the jury's difficulty. "It's a tough decision to begin with. This is obviously the most solemn, important thing that they're ever going to have to decide upon. I have a great deal of respect for the work that they put into this trial," Kassis said. Brian Monahan represented Baptiste and says while his client avoided death row, there are no winners in this case. "It's a tragedy for all in this case. One man is dead. A family is devastated. Another man is going to be in prison for the rest of his life," Monahan said. Prosecutors say Baptiste killed Terrance Ferguson because Ferguson was with Baptiste's ex-girlfriend.
A man is hospitalized after being shot in the face last night. Police in Allentown say a 21-year-old man drove himself to the hospital after he was shot while driving in the area of 17th and Linden streets just after 10 o'clock last night. While the victim was able to drive himself to the hospital, his wounds are considered serious. Police don't have much to go on at this point. They're looking for a vehicle described only as black.
A former high school teacher and coach in Bucks County is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with two of his students. 39-year-old Christian Willman is charged Monday with numerous offenses. Willman was an engineering teacher, club advisor and girls soccer coach at Palisades High School and state police say he sent inappropriate texts to a 16-year-old student in 2013 and 2014, and invited her over to drink when his wife and kids weren't home. In 2017, he began a relationship with another 16-year-old student, state police said. He sent her sexual messages over social media and sexually assaulted the student, including at least one incident at the high school.
A woman is in custody for allegedly making a threat against a local school. State police say they've arrested a 19-year-old woman who allegedly wrote a threatening note directed at the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute in North Whitehall Township. The school announced Tuesday that the campus was being evacuated because of the note. No one was permitted to return for about eight hours. Investigators have not announced the details of the note.
The state House Judiciary Committee is approving a bill that if made law would set 18 as the minimum age to marry in Pennsylvania. Currently, there is no minimum age to get married in the state, making Pennsylvania one of 27 states that doesn't have one.
Hersheypark officials are warning of a social media scam offering free tickets for taking a survey. The scam has been spotted on Facebook and Twitter offering four free admissions to the amusement park, but the link doesn't take the user to Hersheypark's website. Hershey Entertainment officials say any legit offers will always be posted on the park's official website or social media pages.
Hershey is giving its signature chocolate bar a new look. The Hershey Company says it is redesigning the look of its iconic chocolate bar to include an emoji. The change is the first in the 125-year history of the Hershey Bar. The new chocolate emoji bars will soon feature 25 of the most popular emojis in six different packaging designs. The limited-edition bars are set to launch this summer.
Flags are at half-staff today in honor of police officers who died in the line of duty. Today is National Peace Officers Memorial Day across the nation. Gov. Tom Wolf says that while officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty should be honored, everyone should also thank those who carry on their legacies.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's administration is suin DuPont and 3M over allegedly knowingly selling toxic firefighting foam. State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced the suit Tuesday, which names several other defendants as well. Grewal says the companies all caused damage to the state's water supply by selling film-forming foam, which is designed to choke a fire's oxygen supply. The product contains PFOS and PFOA, which have been shown to cause cancers and weaken immune systems.
The Brewers beat the Phillies 6-1 last night and Bryce Harper went hitless again to drop his batting average down to .219. Despite his struggles, manager Gabe Kapler says he's not worried about his right fielder. "He's just pressing a little bit and putting a lot of pressure on himself to perform and it's not there for him right now. But you just bet against that character. He's the kind of guy you want in your corner," Kapler says. The Phillies host Milwaukee again tonight.