Murder victim’s family criticized reprieve

The family of a murder victim is criticizing the governor’s execution reprieve of the man who killed their daughter.

Hubert Michael Junior was set to die by lethal injection Friday, but the governor issued a temporary reprieve. In 1993, Michael kidnapped Trista Eng of Dillsburg, and drove her to state game lands where he shot her three times.

Relatives want Trista’s killer put to death. They say they’ve been on a roller coaster ride with the justice system.

“To constantly have to wait and wait and wait and wait for that day. It’s agonizing,” said Jennifer Storm, Victim Advocate of the Commonwealth.

The Eng family has been waiting for more than 20 years. So when the governor halted the execution of the man who killed their 16-year-old, they wrote a letter to the governor, saying “This is a perfect example of why our system is flawed. We will not stop fighting. Ever. You’re the only person standing in between my sister getting justice she so deserves.”

“The fact that we can’t move forward with this justice for this family is very challenging,” Storm said. “There’s no question about this individuals guilt. The horrific heinous crime he committed is well documented and it’s upheld within the courts.”

The only way Michael can be executed is if the governor lifts the moratorium or the courts force his hand. Until then Hubert Micheal sits on Death row.

“We’ve gotten down to the wire with this family where we’ve been up at the execution chamber, moments away from execution only to have that taken away,” Storm said.

Governor Wolf has placed a moratorium on all executions until a task force he assembled determines the effectiveness of capital punishment.

His press office issued a statement that reads in part, “Governor Wolf has the utmost sympathy for the Eng family. Hubert Michael will remain confined to Death row. The governor has issued temporary reprieves in death penalty cases because he is concerned that the entire system is flawed.”

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