The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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October 25, 2013

20- to 40-year term in Uniontown beating death appealed

JOHNSTOWN — A western Pennsylvania man is seeking a reduction in his 20- to 40-year prison sentence in the slaying of an elderly man that authorities said stemmed from a love triangle involving the younger man's girlfriend.

A Fayette County jury earlier this month convicted 37-year-old Jonathan Godines of Brownsville of third-degree murder and aggravated assault in the November 2011 death of 75-year-old John Eicholtz.

The (Uniontown) Herald-Standard says defense attorneys call the sentence "harsh, severe and excessive." They argue that a concurrent 10- to 20-year aggravated assault sentence is illegal because the offense is included in third-degree murder. The judge said he imposed that term in the event the murder conviction is overturned.

Defense attorneys also say there was insufficient evidence for the conviction and prosecutors didn't disprove self-defense.


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