Murderer in Luzerne County Sent to Prison

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- A murderer received a long prison sentence in Luzerne County on Tuesday.

Joseph Marchetti, 52, of Freeland, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and attempted murder on Tuesday morning and was sentenced to 35 to 80 years in prison.

Prosecutors had been seeking the death penalty for Marchetti.

Investigators say Marchetti shot and killed his girlfriend Antionette Wilkinson, 46, and injured her mother Barbara Wilkinson, at a home in Foster Township in January of 2018.

Marchetti had nothing to say to our camera after he took the plea deal.

"The death penalty would've been the right thing. I don't understand how you can plea anything down from an obvious guilt like that," said the victim's cousin Sharon Cherone.

It happened in January of last year at the couple's home near Freeland.

Police say Marchetti was drunk when he shot Antoinette Wilkinson several times. He then started beating her 72-year-old mother, who survived.

All this led to a standoff at the home with police.

Marchetti eventually then shot himself in the face in an apparent suicide attempt.

Family members read a statement about their lost loved one who went by the nickname Tonilynn.

"Everybody loved her. I don't know what happened in their relationship. He was like a part of our family, always included in everything. I don't understand what happened," Cherone said.

Marchetti read an apology in court saying, "I can't say sorry enough for the hurt I caused you and I know apologizing will never be enough. I know these are only words, but they are from the heart."

"He should not be allowed to be around his family like we aren't allowed to be around her. He took her from us and he should be excluded and not be allowed to be around his family and he should be taken from them as well," said Cherone.

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