A Pennsylvania man admitted Friday to kidnapping and murder an Amish woman in June 2020 as she returned home from church in Lancaster County.
Justo Smoker, 35, faces 35-1 / 2 to 71 years in prison after pleading guilty of third degree murder, kidnapping and other counts in the death of 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos. He also faces at least 17 years in prison for a parole violation linked to a series of armed robberies he committed in 2006, many of which claimed Amish lives.
Stoltzfoos was last seen walking near his home on the 21stJune 2020. As part of the plea deal, Smoker led authorities in April to his body, which he buried on railroad property behind a company where he worked.
Linda Stoltzfoos, 18, was kidnapped and murdered in June 2020, authorities said. (East Lampeter Township Police Department)
Stoltzfoos died of asphyxiation from strangulation, a postman stabbing, a said Dr Stephen Diamantoni, Lancaster County Coroner.
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Smoker told the authorities that it 's 'approached Linda from behind and strangled her with his arm under her neck, then with laces until she was no longer breathing, "Todd Brown, first deputy county prosecutor, said on Friday. of Lancaster, in court. "He then stabbed Lindaneck once to make sure she was dead. "
The smoker was arrested in July 2020 and charged with manslaughter in December. After the guilty plea on Friday, he risk up to 88-1 / 2 years in prison.
Justo Smoker led authorities to Stoltzfoos 'corps in April as part of of a plea agreement. (East Lampeter Township Police Department)
"This sentence was specifically structured in such a way as to virtually guarantee that Smoker would not be never released and is the functional equivalent of a life sentence, "Brown said on Friday.
The smoker apologized in court to Stoltzfoos' family and his own family before being sentenced.
"Thought I would know what to say, but what word can I say other than I'm sorry - to Linda's family, the community and my supporters ", a- he declared, according to Lancaster Online . "I stole time and memories from the family.