3 Get Life for Parents' Slay Plot
Oct. 23, 1997
BEAVER, Pa. (AP) _ A judge and a jury today decided against the death penalty for a teen-ager who arranged to have his parents killed and the two classmates he hired to commit murder.
The jury recommended a sentence of life in prison for gunman Pete Schoonover and said it was deadlocked over the fate of the other two defendants convicted Friday.
State Judge Peter O. Steege told jurors further deliberation would be useless. He took their recommendation as life in prison for the other gunman, Trazis Durham, and Brian Samuel, son of the victims.
Defense and prosecution lawyers have been forbidden by the judge from discussing the case. No sentencing date was set.
Samuel, 18, promised $12,000 each to Schoonover, 20, and Durham, 18, to kill his parents, William and Tresa Samuel. The couple were shot to death in April 1996 at their home in Aliquippa, 20 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.