DOYLESTOWN, Pa. – A Pennsylvania jury will resolve on life or dying for a Pennsylvania man who pleaded responsible within the 2016 rape, homicide and dismemberment of his girlfriend’s teenage daughter.
Jacob Sullivan, 46, pleaded responsible to all expenses final month in a case that raised questions concerning the youngster welfare system’s failure to guard 14-year-old Grace Packer, who spent years in an abusive house earlier than she was sexually violated, drugged after which, lastly, strangled within the attic of a suburban Philadelphia house.
Prosecutors have stated that Grace’s adoptive mom, Sara Packer, watched Sullivan act out a rape-murder fantasy they shared. Sara Packer, a former foster mother or father and county adoptions supervisor, has agreed to plead responsible in trade for a life sentence and may very well be known as to testify on the penalty section of Sullivan’s trial, which opens Friday exterior Philadelphia.
Sullivan’s attorneys plan to argue that Sara Packer masterminded the plot in opposition to Grace , and that Sullivan must be sentenced to life.
Packer and her husband on the time, David Packer, adopted Grace and her brother in 2007. The couple cared for dozens of foster youngsters earlier than David Packer was arrested in 2010 and despatched to jail for sexually assaulting Grace and a 15-year-old foster daughter at their house in Allentown, about an hour north of Philadelphia. Sara Packer misplaced her job as a Northampton County adoptions supervisor in 2010 and was barred from taking in any extra foster youngsters.
The Pennsylvania Division of Human Providers launched an investigation after Grace Packer’s homicide however its findings haven’t been made public.
Sullivan beat and raped Grace, and she or he was tied up, drugged and left to die in a sweltering attic, authorities have stated. Returning the following day and discovering Grace was nonetheless alive, Sullivan strangled her, courtroom paperwork stated. The couple saved her physique in cat litter for months, then hacked it up and dumped it in a distant space the place hunters discovered it in October 2016, police have stated.
Sullivan entered his responsible plea as jury choice was about to get underway. The jury that may resolve his sentence have to be unanimous as a way to impose the dying penalty; in any other case Sullivan will get life with out parole.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf declared a moratorium on capital punishment shortly after taking workplace in 2015. Pennsylvania final carried out an execution in 1999.