- Associated Press - Monday, February 10, 2014

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A man accused of committing a double homicide in 1980 has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder charges.

The Adams County district attorney’s office said Monday that Erasmo Cruz will be sentenced to 16 to 40 years behind bars as part of the plea agreement.

Seventeen-year-old Debra Patterson and her mother, Nancy Patterson, were killed in August 1980.

Prosecutors have said Molotov cocktails were thrown into the Freedom Township home and the mother and daughter were shot to death by masked men when they ran outside.

Investigators said Cruz, Debra Patterson’s boyfriend, was tracked down and arrested in Puerto Rico in August 2012.

District Attorney Shawn Wagner said the plea was offered to spare the Patterson family the trauma of a trial.


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