Estranged friend's murder not capital case

October 21, 2009 8:18:56 AM PDT
Prosecutors in eastern Pennsylvania have ruled out seeking the death penalty in the trial of a man accused of killing a former friend last summer.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli says there are no aggravating circumstances required by law for capital punishment to be considered in the case against 33-year-old Mark Williams of Nazareth.

Williams is accused of strangling Patrick O'Brien after following him home June 14 from a bar where the two had been arguing. Police and witnesses have said the two had not spoken to each other much after a falling-out over a girl and unreturned video games a decade ago. Police say Williams told them he was too drunk to remember most of the night.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Williams would face mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The homicide was the first in Nazareth in almost three decades.


Information from: The Morning Call,