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Published on April 17th, 2019 📆 | 3853 Views ⚑

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Killer who hacked disabled brothers to death with sword deserves double-life jail term, Pa, court says

A convicted killer who complained a prosecutor insulted him by calling him a “monster” failed Tuesday to convince a state Superior Court panel to void his double-life prison sentence for hacking two disabled brothers to death with knives and a sword.

His own lawyer agreed that Juan Cristo-Munoz Jr.’s appeal was frivolous.

Cristo-Munoz, now 20, received his two life sentences last April after pleading guilty for the brutal February 2017 stabbing slayings of Lancaster City brothers Richard Walton and Leroy Kinsey. Police said Cristo-Munoz and Joshua Proper murdered the brothers after breaking into their home to rob them.

Kinsey, 61, was confined to a wheelchair. Police said he was stabbed and cut 10 times and his nose was broken. Walton, 62, an amputee, was stabbed 54 times. Investigators said Cristo-Munoz and Prosper were covered in blood when officers responding to a call for help from a third resident of the Poplar Street home found them hiding in the basement.

As Judge Mary Jane Bowes noted in the state court’s opinion, Cristo-Munoz pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder after prosecutors told him they would seek the death penalty if he went to trial.

In denying Cristo-Munoz’s appeal, Bowes found his sentence is consistent with his plea agreement. Contrary to Cristo-Munoz’s claim that he was illegally barred from speaking at his sentencing hearing, Bowes noted he was given the chance to talk but declined.

The fact that Assistant District Attorney Christine L. Wilson called him Cristo-Munoz a monster had no effect on the sentence imposed by county Judge David Ashworth, Bowes found. She didn’t address Cristo-Munoz’s claim that he was underfed and tortured while in Lancaster County Prison, concluding it had nothing to do with the legality of his sentence for the killings.

Proper, 20, who police said immediately fingered Cristo-Munoz for the slayings, also was sentenced to two terms of life in prison after pleading guilty to murder charges last September.

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