Defense: Try teen as juvenile in Pa. triple murder


WILKES-BARRE (AP) – Attorneys for a suspect in a triple slaying that northeastern Pennsylvania prosecutors allege occurred during a botched drug deal last summer say their client should be tried in juvenile court.

The 17-year-old defendant is charged in Luzerne County along with his 19-year-old half brother Shawn Hamilton in the July 7 shootings in a Plymouth apartment.

Prosecutors allege that they killed 21-year-old Bradley Swartwood, 17-year-old Nicholas Maldonado and 15-year-old Lisa Abaunza. Maldonaldo’s 19-year-old brother was wounded.

Defense attorneys say their client, who was 16 at the time of the crime, poses no threat to the safety of others and had a “limited degree of culpability.”

They also want his statements to authorities tossed out, and the trial moved because of pretrial publicity.

Prosecutors have not responded to the motions filed Friday.