MURDER CASE Teen killers get life
Future district attorneys could oppose commutation of their sentences.
MERCER, Pa. -- Two teenagers who killed a George Junior Republic night security counselor during a 2003 escape from that facility will serve at least 25 years in prison.
There were sentenced to life with no chance of parole, but could request commutation of their sentences after 25 years.
Judge Thomas Dobson of Mercer County Common Pleas Court imposed the sentence on Anthony Machicote, 17, of North Versailles, Pa., and Jeremy Melvin, 17, of McKeesport, Pa., who pleaded guilty last fall to second-degree murder.
Part of the plea agreement was that they would serve life without possibility of parole. The two had originally been charged with criminal homicide, robbery, theft, conspiracy, aggravated assault and escape.
Although Machicote was 17 and Melvin 16 at the time of the murder, they were prosecuted as adults.
They had been committed to George Junior Republic, 200 George Junior Road, Pine Township, by courts in Allegheny County.
On Nov. 10, 2003, according to court documents, they strangled Wayne L. Urey Jr., 43, who was a cottage shift supervisor. Juveniles at the education and detention center live in groups in cottages. The two attacked Urey, took his wallet and car keys, then fled the juvenile facility in his pickup truck. They drove to Pittsburgh, where they surrendered later that day after learning Urey had died.
Urey was discovered unconscious with his arms tied, sheets around his head and a belt around his ankles. Socks had been stuffed in his mouth, causing his suffocation. Ambulance personnel could not revive him and he was pronounced dead shortly after at a local hospital. An autopsy report showed Urey had multiple rib fractures, fractured bones in his neck and other injuries to his head, trunk and extremities.
In making the plea agreement, District Atty. James Epstein had agreed not to oppose a request for commutation of the sentences after 25 years.
However, a future district attorney is not obligated to abide by that agreement. Urey's family and others could also oppose commutation.