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Man seeks to withdraw guilty plea in killing of officer

April 9, 2019

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Delaware court commissioner is recommending that a judge reject the appeal of a man who pleaded guilty but mentally ill in the fatal stabbing of a police officer.

In a report issued Monday, the commissioner said David Salasky’s appeal and motion to withdraw his guilty plea should be denied.

Salasky was sentenced to two life terms in 2014 after pleading guilty to killing New Castle County Police Lt. Joseph Szczerba (SURB-uh) in September 2011.

Authorities say Salasky ingested bath salts purchased at a local cigarette outlet before hallucinating and stabbing Szczerba, who was responding to a report of a disorderly person and a car burglary.

Salasky, who has a long criminal history, later told investigators that he stabbed Szczerba after the officer “grew fangs” and “turned into something else.”