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Testimony Underway in Yisrael Homicide Trial

WILKES-BARRE -- Testimony got underway Tuesday in a homicide trial in Luzerne County.

Eleazar Yisrael from Hazleton is charged with shooting and killing his girlfriend's husband.

Yisrael is accused of murder after police say he broke into Samuel Vacante's home in Drums and then shot and killed him in August 2015.

That weekend, police found Vacante's body in the woods near Albrightsville in Carbon County. He was wrapped in a camping tent and decomposing.

Jennifer Daley was the first to testify in court Tuesday. She was Vacante's girlfriend who talked to him over the phone the day he was killed after he was getting home from work. She testified someone on the other end abruptly hung up the phone.

"I heard a sound like he dropped his phone," she testified. "I wasn't getting any response. I was just hearing like static or shuffling, like rustling papers or something."

Prosecutors allege Yisrael shot Vacante in the back during that phone conversation.

The second person to take the stand was Brandon Anthony, Vacante's son, saying he got a text message from his dad that seemed like he was in distress.

"It's almost like reading it you know it's not the person who you think you're talking to," Anthony said in court. "I asked if you're OK. No response. I asked if he could just come home but I was never able to reach him."

Prosecutors believe Yisrael killed Vacante so Vacante's estranged wife, who was Yisrael's girlfriend, would get ownership of Vacante's $200,000 Drums home.

Testimony is expected to continue Wednesday. Prosecutors plan to call 40 witnesses in the trial.

4 comments

  • Silverfish Imperetrix

    Once a “suspect” refuses to walk, they should be dragged down a flight of stairs feet first. When they recover they’ll walk like a champ. Guaranteed.

  • Writer Girl

    Why do people think they can easily commit these types of crimes and get away with it? To live in his house, really?
    Nothing is ever that simple and with today’s resources, it’s almost impossible to commit the perfect crime and get away with it. Sick, all the way around.

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