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BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — The fate of a Bucks County man accused of killing a 14-year-old girl as the teen’s adoptive mother watched is now in the hands of a jury. A jury is deciding if Jacob Sullivan gets life in prison or sent to death row in the murder of Grace Packer. It comes after the jury heard nearly two weeks of testimony, plus nearly three hours of closing arguments Tuesday morning.
Sullivan is accused of raping, strangling and then dismembering 14-year-old Grace in 2016. It happened while her adoptive mother, Sara Packer, watched.
At the Bucks County Courthouse Tuesday morning, Sullivan’s attorney argued to the jury his client admitted the crimes to police, despite his girlfriend telling him to keep quiet.
“Ask yourself, ‘Would we be here if my client didn’t confess?’ He accepted responsibility,” said attorney Jack Fagan.
However, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said “not all murders are equal.”
“The death penalty is reserved for the worst of these murders,” said Weintraub. “This is that murder.”
Pennsylvania doesn’t actually execute those on death row. Instead, killers sentenced to death often live about 23 hours a day in solitary confinement.
Sara Packer took a plea deal last month and she will spend the rest of her life in prison.