Suspect in Murder, Violent Home Invasion Pleads Guilty

TOWANDA -- A suspect in a murder and violent home invasion pleaded guilty in Bradford County court on Monday.

Michael Houseweart pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Michelle Inch.

He said in court that he is responsible for the killing that left family and friends of Michelle Inch devastated.

A judge sentenced Houseweart to life in prison.

Her bright smile is hard to forget and it's the way Linda and Gary Inch want to remember their daughter Michelle.

The Inches were in Bradford County court when their daughter's former boyfriend Michael Houseweart admitted to killing Michelle back in January.

He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

"He has his whole life to ponder this," said Linda Inch.

Police say Houseweart and another man tied up Inches' parents inside their home near Montoursville and set it on fire in January. Then Michelle was discovered missing and for two months friends helped lead a search to find her.

Her body was discovered in March, dumped along a stream in Bradford County and police said Houseweart started telling different stories about the last time he saw her.

By that time, he had already been charged with arson in Lycoming County.

"One of the things is denial when something like this happens, that maybe there is that slim hope that she got away or something," said Michelle's father Gary.

The family was able to move back into their home in August. That, along with this guilty plea, are part of their healing process.

"No matter what he gets, she's still gone," said Linda. "Our lives will always be void of that. That's how it works out."

After Michelle went missing, police say Houseweart told several different stories about the last time he saw her. Now that he has admitted guilt, the family is working towards forgiveness.

"We are Christians, so I know it's what should happen, but it's going to take a while," Linda added.

Brian Vroman, the other man accused in the case, was scheduled to plead guilty to charges related to the fire back in August but his attorney asked to have that rescheduled.


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