Judge rejects lower sentence in western Pa. murder

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania judge has denied a man’s petition for a reduction of his 20- to 40-year prison sentence in the slaying of an elderly man that authorities said stemmed from a love triangle involving the younger man’s girlfriend.

A Fayette County jury earlier this month convicted 37-year-old Jonathan Godines of Brownsville of third-degree murder and aggravated assault in the November 2011 death of 75-year-old John Eicholtz.

The Herald-Standard of Uniontown says President Judge John Wagner Jr. rejected a defense motion to reduce the sentence, citing his earlier statements during sentencing.

Defense attorneys called the sentence “harsh, severe and excessive” and said a concurrent 10- to 20-year aggravated assault sentence is illegal. The judge said he imposed that term in the event the murder conviction is overturned.

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