Guilty plea in killing of New Castle County police officer

Pictured: David Salasky
September 30, 2013 1:27:43 PM PDT
A Wilmington man has pleaded guilty but mentally ill in the fatal stabbing of a New Castle County police officer.

34-year-old David Salasky, Jr. pleaded guilty Monday to 15 counts, including 2 counts of 1st degree murder, in the September 16, 2011 killing of 44-year-old Lieutenant Joseph Szczerba.

A sentencing date was not set.

Szczerba, an 18-year veteran of the force, was fatally stabbed while trying to arrest Salasky after a car break-in and foot pursuit. He was the first New Castle County police officer to lose his life in the line of duty since 1972.

According to court records, Salasky has both a long criminal history and a history of mental health issues. Defense attorneys suggested he was delusional and high on mind-altering chemicals when Szczerba was killed.

Salasky faces 2 mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole and up to 153 additional years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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