PITTSBURGH (AP/KDKA) — A man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole along with a consecutive 11 to 22 year sentence in the strangulation death of a man and the rape of a woman last year.
Richard Mickens Jr., 59, of Carnegie pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder in the death of 51-year-old Luke Connelly in Carnegie in May 2019.
Mickens also pleaded guilty to the rape and aggravated assault, for which the consecutive term was imposed. According to a spokesperson from the District Attorney’s office, he is receiving 10-20 years for the rape charge and 1-2 years for the aggravated assault charge. To follow social distancing guidelines, Mickens Jr., his counsel and prosecutor were physically in the courtroom while the affected families made their statements through a video conference.
In exchange for the plea, prosecutors withdrew their bid to seek the death penalty in the case. The District Attorney’s office confirmed to KDKA that should Mickens Jr. rescind his plea, the DA’s office “would still proceed to seek the death penalty upon conviction.”
The then-31-year-old victim told police she arrived at the apartment and found Connolly lying on the kitchen floor having trouble breathing, and the defendant then beat, stabbed and raped her. She said after Connolly was making noises on the floor, the defendant wrapped a garbage bag around his head and stabbed him with a screwdriver.
(TM and © Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)