Judge won't recuse herself in antigay murder

BY Advocate.com Editors

February 12 2003 12:00 AM ET

A Pennsylvania judge has refused to recuse herself in the case of a teenager accused of fatally beating his brother with a hammer. Ian A. Bishop's attorneys claimed that Westmoreland County judge Debra A. Pezze prejudiced herself after refusing to transfer Bishop's case to juvenile court. "This is a textbook case of willful, deliberate, and premeditated murder," Pezze said in denying transfer in August. "This is a crime of enormous proportions." Pezze said Monday that her decisions have and will be based on law and evidence.

Ian Bishop, 15, allegedly killed Adam Bishop, 18, on April 19 because he believed his brother was gay, prosecutors said. If convicted, Bishop faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. Prosecution in juvenile court would have meant he could have been kept in custody only until his 21st birthday. A trial date has not been set.

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