Criminal Justice

Trial begins for man accused of plotting in prison cell to kill judge


Already serving a prison term of between four and 13 years for burglary, an inmate accused of plotting to kill the Pennsylvania judge who sentenced him is now being tried for criminal solicitation to commit criminal homicide.

Lance Patrick Greenawalt, 47, was convicted last year in a related murder-for-hire case and sentenced to another 30 to 70 years for trying to recruit his cellmate to kill two men, while Greenawalt was imprisoned in the burglary case. The same tapes that helped convict Greenawalt in that case are also expected to be introduced as evidence in the alleged plot to kill Adams County Judge Michael George, reports the Patriot-News.

As jury selection began Monday, Greenawalt sat in court in prison garb, having refused to change to street clothes, reports the Sentinel.

“I’m an inmate in state prison,” he told the judge in his latest trial. “If I’m forced to go forward, I might as well be wearing this, because they know where I am already.”

Greenawalt had argued unsuccessfully that the trial should be postponed because his attorney was unprepared and hadn’t provided him with discovery evidence. However, his lawyer, Michael Rentschler, had a different perspective with which Cumberland County President Judge Kevin Hess agreed.

“I have been involved in extensive pretrial proceedings in this case, and your attorney has been involved in all those matters with me,” Hess told Greenawalt, adding: “From what I have seen, he has reviewed the transcript and is prepared.”

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Pa. Inmate in Wired Cell Accused of Offering Cash and Harley for Slaying of Judge, 2 Others”

Detroit Free Press: “Cumberland County jury convicts Lance Greenawalt in murder-for-hire case”

Evening Sun: “Judge to Lance Greenawalt: Expect dire future “

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