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Surprise Guilty Plea In Monroe County Murder

STROUDSBURG — There was a surprise guilty plea Monday morning in Monroe County as a murder trial was about to begin.

Rico Herbert of Stroudsburg pleaded guilty to third degree murder and other charges in Monroe County court.

More than two years after his arrest, Rico Herbert pleaded guilty to third degree murder and other charges in Monroe County. Herbert admits killing 87-year old Joseph DeVivo in 2012.

The plea came just as jury selection for Herbert’s trial was about to start. DeVivo’s family was at the courthouse and happy Herbert admitted his guilt.

“It was a horrible ordeal for our family to live through for more than two years we were waiting for this nightmare to end. We finally have closure,” said the victim’s son Joseph A. DeVivo.

Herbert’s attorneys say their client has been thinking about calling off the trial for quite some time, but he didn’t take responsibility until just now.

“He showed some remorse I mean this is not a person hard of heart or callous, I think it was an unfortunate set of circumstance that led him to where he is today,” said defense attorney Tom Sundmaker.

Back in 2012 Herbert was charged with killing DeVivo, a retired school teacher in Stroudsburg. Herbert now admits he smothered DeVivo, took off with DeVivo’s car and wallet and drove his body to South Carolina where he dumped it. Prosecutors say Herbert’s plea spares the DeVivo family from gruesome testimony.

“Oh absolutely, the reliving of this, there would have been some very graphic evidence, one of the counts being abuse of a corpse,” said Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso.

The victim’s family members listened to OnStar tapes in court. On the recording Herbert pretended to be DeVivo before he dumped the body.

Now DeVivo’s three children say they’re closing this door and moving forward – keeping the memory of their father alive and have established a scholarship fund in his name.

Their friends and family have helped them through the past two years.

“We are thankful to the community for the love and support they have shown us during this difficult time.,” said DeVivo.

Herbert will spend 31 to 62 years in a state correctional facility.

5 comments

  • Important Point Here !

    Another Black killing a White Person Crime like the evil black 16 year old who killed Mr. Darbenzio the Scranton Cab Driver ?

    Minority race, killing whits makes them statistically the Majority as the leaders in violent crimes even though minority race.

    I am sick of Blacks doing this to Whites, and I know some blacks are very good folks, but the truth is they are far more violent towards whites then we are towards them.
    And I don’t want to hear about slavery ! I am in the North, my ancestors helped Black People with the Underground Railroad ! Others died in Civil War for the Union Army fighting to free them.
    So why do they have bad attitude towards whites up here in the North ? Our ancestors died to help free them !

    The ODD thing is when I went down to South Carolina and Georgia a few years ago, there were LOTS of Black People, and you know what was odd ??? When I went in any store, they would gladly hold the door open for me, and I would thank them as I should, they were courteous, pleasant polite workers in stores, post offices you name it, and I NEVER once felt threatend by ANY of them anywhere down South, they are more nice in my experience, and opinion down South where they WERE slaves to lots of Southern people nowadays whose ancestors were slave owners, or in the Confederate Army, then some of the Blacks up here in the North, who treat a good number of us Northerners whose ancestors died to free them, and helped with underground railroad with Bad Attitude ! I could never figure that out !

    I am not racist, I have Black friends I love Dearly, Black Neighbors who I feel happier to live by then White people who are bad ! But Blacks who are good, are given a very unfair bad rap from the jerks in their own race who commit these violent crimes towards whites and with Bad Attitudes. So they need to reign these monster murderers in and assaulters so people don’t assume they are violent when they are not. Educate them, get them to join society ! We are all human, there is no need for racism ! Peace to all

  • John Ranger

    REALLY! “an unfortunate set of circumstances”!!!!!!!!!
    I agree. It’s UNFORTUNATE that Mr. DeVivo didn’t have a .357 to put a bullet between Herbert’s eyes.

  • Sherry Getz

    Nothing like waiting till the last minute to plead guilty.
    Him and everyone else knew he was guilty from day one.
    I hope he enjoys his life in the pokey.

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