cloudy.png
Tuesday December 10th, 2019 3:02PM

Man could get death in teen's rape, murder, dismemberment

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania jury will decide on life or death for a man who pleaded guilty to killing and dismembering his girlfriend's 14-year-old daughter in what prosecutors are calling a rape-murder fantasy he and the teen's mother shared.

Jacob Sullivan, 46, pleaded guilty to all charges last month in a case that raised questions about the child welfare system's failure to protect Grace Packer, who spent years in an abusive home before she was sexually violated, drugged and then, finally, strangled in the attic of a suburban Philadelphia home in 2016.

Prosecutors have said that Grace's adoptive mother, Sara Packer, watched Sullivan act out a rape-murder fantasy they shared. Sara Packer, a former foster parent and county adoptions supervisor, has agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence and could be called to testify at the penalty phase of Sullivan's trial, which opened Friday outside Philadelphia.

Sullivan's attorneys plan to argue that Sara Packer masterminded the plot against Grace .

Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub asked the jury to impose the death penalty, saying Sullivan committed "awful, unspeakable, heinous crimes."

Sullivan's lawyer, Jack Fagan, asked jurors to sentence Sullivan to life. The jury that will decide his sentence must be unanimous in order to impose the death penalty; otherwise Sullivan will get life without parole.

Even if he's sentenced to death, it's unclear whether the punishment would ever be carried out. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf declared a moratorium on capital punishment shortly after taking office in 2015. Pennsylvania last carried out an execution in 1999.

Packer and her husband at the time, David Packer, adopted Grace and her brother in 2007. The couple cared for dozens of foster children before David Packer was arrested in 2010 and sent to prison for sexually assaulting Grace and a 15-year-old foster daughter at their home in Allentown, about an hour north of Philadelphia. Sara Packer lost her job as a Northampton County adoptions supervisor in 2010 and was barred from taking in any more foster children.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services launched an investigation after Grace Packer's murder but its findings have not been made public.

Sullivan beat and raped Grace, and she was tied up, drugged and left to die in a sweltering attic, authorities have said. Returning the next day and finding Grace was still alive, Sullivan strangled her, court documents said. The couple stored her body in cat litter for months, then hacked it up and dumped it in a remote area where hunters found it in October 2016, police have said.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Man could get death in teen's rape, murder, dismemberment
A Pennsylvania jury will decide on life or death for a Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty in the 2016 rape, murder and dismemberment of his girlfriend's teenage daughter
10:51AM ( 5 minutes ago )
The Latest: At least 3 Turkish citizens hurt in NZ shootings
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says at least three Turkish citizens were injured in attacks on Muslim worshippers in New Zealand and that he has spoken to one of them
10:50AM ( 6 minutes ago )
The Latest: Paris students hold 'Now or Never' climate signs
Teenagers in Paris brandished "Now or Never" signs as they thronged cobblestoned streets around the domed Pantheon building, which rises above the Left Bank, in rallies to demand more action on climate change
10:41AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Push to defeat IS in Syria slowed by concern for hostages
U.S.-backed Syrian forces say their push to defeat the Islamic State group in its last, tiny bastion in Syria has been slowed by the presence of civilians and scores of prisoners held by the extremists
10:02AM ( 53 minutes ago )
Mosque shooter a white nationalist seeking revenge
New Zealand mosque shooter who livestreamed attack says he is an Australian white nationalist
9:53AM ( 1 hour ago )
Mosque killer's rifles bore white-supremacist references
The self-proclaimed racist who attacked a New Zealand mosque during Friday prayers in an assault that killed 49 people used rifles covered in white-supremacist graffiti and listened to a song glorifying a Bosnian Serb war criminal
9:52AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
The Latest: Snow, rain, powerful winds hit the Upper Midwest
Snow, rain and powerful winds are sweeping across the Upper Midwest
8:07AM ( 2 hours ago )
APNewsBreak: Feds to ease land restrictions across US West
The Trump administration is finalizing plans to ease restrictions on oil and natural gas drilling and other industry activities that are meant to protect an imperiled bird species that ranges across the American West
1:26AM ( 9 hours ago )
Late-winter storm moves to Upper Midwest; flooding remains
Late-winter storm system continues its trek across the Midwest, will send rain and snow into Minnesota and Illinois
1:22AM ( 9 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
The Latest: At least 3 Turkish citizens hurt in NZ shootings
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says at least three Turkish citizens were injured in attacks on Muslim worshippers in New Zealand and that he has spoken to one of them
10:50AM ( 6 minutes ago )
The Latest: Paris students hold 'Now or Never' climate signs
Teenagers in Paris brandished "Now or Never" signs as they thronged cobblestoned streets around the domed Pantheon building, which rises above the Left Bank, in rallies to demand more action on climate change
10:41AM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: Indonesia father and son injured in NZ shootings
Indonesia's foreign ministry says two Indonesians, a father and his son, were injured in mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch
10:39AM ( 17 minutes ago )
US bars entry of International Criminal Court investigators
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will revoke or deny visas to International Criminal Court personnel who attempt to investigate alleged abuses committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan
10:31AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Heavy rain atop frozen ground causes flooding in Midwest
Heavy rain atop frozen ground causes flooding, prompts evacuations in parts of the Midwest
10:30AM ( 26 minutes ago )