NORRISTOWN, Pa. -- A heroin addict charged with robbing and killing a man he met through a Craigslist ad seeking sex was sentenced Monday to 40 to 80 years in prison.
Chad Marshal Wilcox, 28, of Williamsport, pleaded guilty Monday in Montgomery County to third-degree murder, robbery and burglary, The (Doylestown) Intelligencer (http://bit.ly/1cJ7Rgl) reported. In exchange, prosecutors dropped first- and second-degree murder charges that carry a mandatory life sentence.
County Chief of Trials Thomas McGoldrick called the term imposed "virtually a life sentence."
"With a number that large, there is an extremely good likelihood that he will die in prison," he said.
Wilcox declined to comment, saying it would be better if he said nothing "out of respect for the family."
Prosecutors say he failed to appear at a September trial on child rape charges in Lycoming County. Instead, they say, he headed to the Philadelphia area and placed the Craigslist ad through which he met Manual Hakimian, 36, of Norristown. Prosecutors say he slashed Hakimian's throat and stole his electronic devices, using his bank and credit cards in multiple states - and bartering the electronics for heroin within hours of the killing.
Investigators tracked purchases using the stolen bank and credit cards in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Tennessee and got surveillance video from several places showing a man making the purchases and withdrawing cash. Wilcox was arrested in Johnston County, North Carolina, a few days later, and was returned to Lycoming County in central Pennsylvania on a bench warrant issued after he failed to show up at his rape trial.
McGoldrick last fall called the case "a cautionary tale" about the dangers of meeting strangers online.
The case recalled that of newlywed couple Elytte and Miranda Barbour, who were charged with luring a Pennsylvania man to his death using a Craigslist ad. They were sentenced last year to life in prison without parole in the killing of Troy LaFerrara, 42, of Port Trevorton, who had responded to an ad offering female companionship.
Information from: The Intelligencer, http://www.theintell.com