Join Date: Apr 2002
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A man pleaded guilty to third-degree murder Thursday for helping to kill his brother's estranged wife and two daughters and will likely testify at the brother's murder trial.
In return for his cooperation, Scott Wholaver will spend no more than 25 years in prison under the plea deal.
At an earlier hearing, Wholaver testified that he drove his brother, Ernest Wholaver, to the estranged wife's home on Christmas Eve, and that Ernest Wholaver donned dark clothes, a hunting mask and gloves and returned to the parked truck in a ``shaking, nervous'' state. Scott Wholaver also led police to a gun they believe was the murder weapon.
``He is very saddened by these tragic events. These were his nieces and his sister-in-law,'' said Scott Wholaver's attorney, Justin McShane.
Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against Ernest Wholaver for the deaths of Jean Wholaver, 43, Elizabeth, 15, and Victoria, 20. Prosecutors said they were killed because his daughters were about to testify that he sexually abused them.
Ernest Wholaver also was charged last month with criminal solicitation to commit murder alleging that while in jail he tried to hire a hitman to kill the father of Victoria Wholaver's child and frame the man for the earlier slayings.