YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – York County’s district attorney is urging Governor Tom Wolf to allow the execution of a man convicted of kidnapping and murdering a Dillsburg teenager in 1993.
District Attorney Tom Kearney wrote a letter to the governor Wednesday and asked that he not grant a reprieve to Hubert Michael Jr.
Michael is scheduled to die by lethal injection June 5 for the murder of 16-year-old Trista Eng.
Wolf announced in February that he will grant a reprieve in all scheduled executions, establishing an effective moratorium on the death penalty, until he has reviewed a task force report on the effectiveness of capital punishment.
Kearney wrote that if there is to be a death sentence in Pennsylvania, Michael is the “poster child” for it to occur.
The district attorney said Michael has never denied that he kidnapped Eng as she walked to her summer job, then drove her to state game lands in Warrington Township and shot her three times before hiding her body in the woods.
In the nearly 22 years since the crime, however, he said Michael has never accepted full responsibility for raping Eng before killing her.
Michael admitted in his guilty plea that he killed Eng because he was angry about a pending rape case in Lancaster County and wanted to take his anger out on a woman.
In his letter to Wolf, Kearney wrote that Michael’s case has been examined by both state and federal courts, as well as past governors, many times over the past two decades.
He said granting a reprieve to Michael would make a mockery of the judicial system.
Wolf spokesman Jeffrey Sheridan responded with the following statement:
“Governor Wolf has the utmost sympathy for the families of victims of heinous crimes. Hubert Michael committed a monstrous crime and he must be held to account. His confinement to death row does not change as a result of Governor Wolf’s actions. The Governor has issued temporary reprieves in death penalty cases because he is concerned that the entire system is flawed, and he will await the report of the bi-partisan commission established by the Pennsylvania State Senate, and any recommendations and other concerns are addressed satisfactorily.”
Jeffrey Sheridan | Press Secretary