Son Found Guilty of Third-Degree Murder in Baseball Bat Beating Death of Father

POTTSVILLE, Pa. --  After a day of deliberating, a jury has found a man not guilty of the most serious charges in the death of his father.

Michael Marchalk was found guilty of third-degree murder for the death of his father, Gary Marchalk, on Father's Day last year.

A jury deliberated for most of the day Thursday at the Schuylkill County courthouse before coming to that verdict.

Marchalk faced several charges heading into his trial including first, second and third-degree murder for beating his father to death with a baseball bat.

Marchalk was acquitted of the two most serious charges, first and second-degree murder.

Marchalk told Newswatch 16 he was relieved and disappointed with the verdict.

"I felt that I should have been acquitted of the third degree as well, you know, mixed feelings. I'm disappointed but I'm also relieved that I wasn't convicted of the top two counts," said Marchalk.

Gary Marchalk was a former assistant district attorney in Schuylkill County.

Prosecutors say Michael was addicted to drugs and that his father had been trying to help him out.

The day Gary died, they say Michael wanted money from his father and when Gary wouldn't give it to him, Michael beat him with a bat.

The defense says Michael was acting in self-defense and that it was Gary who went after Michael with the bat first.

Prosecutors say after the murder, Michael took his dad's wallet, credit cards and car and fled the area.

He was arrested in Atlantic City five days later.

Marchalk is being held without bail. A sentencing date has yet to be set in Schuylkill County.

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