Two men and a woman have been arrested and incarcerated in Lackawanna County Prison while they await the results of an autopsy on the body of a man that was found in the Hop Bottom Area of Susquehanna County on Monday. The autopsy cannot be completed until the conclusion of toxicology tests on the body. The three persons are currently facing aggravated assault and conspiracy charges in connection with the death, but the charges could be increased to second degree murder if the tests show that the man was strangled.
The three defendants and the decedent apparently began Saturday evening at the home of the decedent, who was also the woman's boyfriend. According to a statement the woman gave to the police, the decedent appeared to be suffering a drug overdose, and they decided to take him to a hospital. While the car was heading north on I-81, the woman placed a plastic bag over the decedent's head. Then, the woman handed a set of jumper cables to man who was sitting behind the decedent and encouraged him to use the cables to strangle the decedent.
The three defendants remained at large over the weekend. The two men were arrested on Monday afternoon, and the woman was apprehended shortly after midnight on Tuesday evening. The woman provided her statement after she was arrested. The three are being held on $700,000 bail each.
The three defendants in this case are already facing serious criminal charges, and the results of the toxicology tests may lead to criminal homicide charges. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to confer with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Such a conference can provide a useful evaluation of the evidence, suggestions for possible defense strategies, and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea negotiation or an outright acquittal.
Source: Scranton Times-Tribune, "," Joseph Kohut, Aug. 31, 2016