WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — A woman has been sentenced to 35 to 80 years after pleading guilty to participating in the murder of her grandfather last year. Eighteen-year-old Gabriella Long pleaded guilty Monday to third-degree murder and criminal conspiracy in the April 2019 stabbing death of 71-year-old Joseph Monka.
Prosecutors withdrew theft, evidence-tampering and other counts.
Monka’s body was found in his Edwardsville residence, where he was believed to have been killed two days earlier. A forensic pathologist testified that he was stabbed 43 times and beaten with a golf club.
Authorities said Long, a former New York resident, was a juvenile living with her grandfather at the time of the slaying. Her attorneys had been scheduled to petition the judge to have her case handled in juvenile court. A judge sentenced her to serve consecutive 17 1/2- to 40-year terms on each of the two counts,
Investigators alleged that two of the four defendants stabbed Monka while Long and the fourth defendant were in a bedroom. They alleged the four then stole nearly $30,000 from a safe and bought new clothes and sneakers at the Wyoming Valley Mall, discarding their old attire in mall garbage cans.
Long and two other defendants were arrested leaving a Plains Township motel where the victim’s vehicle was found. Two other defendants have also pleaded guilty; one awaits sentencing and the other was also sentenced to 35 to 80 years. The fourth defendant is awaiting trial.
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