Pa. judge overturns death sentence in 1992 slaying







A northeastern Pennsylvania judge has overturned the death sentence imposed on a man convicted of killing his 3-year-old niece two decades ago.

Luzerne County Senior Judge Patrick Toole on Tuesday upheld the conviction of 42-year-old Michael Bardo of Wilkes-Barre but granted him a new sentencing hearing.

Prosecutors said Bardo killed Joelle Donovan in 1992 when she cried as he tried to molest her, then wrapped her body in a garbage bag and threw it in a south Wilkes-Barre creek.

Bardo earlier told prosecutors that he wanted to abandon his appeals and be executed, but he reversed himself in September and said he wanted to fight the death penalty.

His lawyers argued that the attorneys who represented him at trial failed to uncover or disclose critical information to jurors.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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