- Associated Press - Monday, September 29, 2014

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A teenager has been convicted of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his girlfriend on a suburban Philadelphia hiking trail last year.

Montgomery County Judge William Carpenter announced his verdict Monday in the trial of Tristan Stahley, 18, of Skippack Township, The (Pottstown) Mercury reported.

Stahley was 16 when Julie Siller, 17, of Royersford was killed in May 2013 along the Skippack Trail, where prosecutors said the two had been arguing.

The defendant opted for a non-jury trial and did not challenge evidence in police and autopsy records. Carpenter announced the verdict shortly after reviewing those documents.

Stahley didn’t testify.

Asked by a reporter whether he had anything to say to the victim’s relatives, Stahley said, “I’m sorry” as he was led from the courtroom, the newspaper reported.

Authorities said Stahley and Siller had been dating off-and-on for about six to nine months at the time of the slaying. They said he used a paramedic-style knife to stab the victim in the throat and body and then dragged her body into the woods.

Authorities said he then returned home, confessed to his mother, and tried to stab himself but was prevented from doing so by his father. State police who responded to the domestic disturbance call at the home reported that Stahley confessed to them and led troopers to the body.

Because of his age at the time of the crime, Stahley will not face an automatic life term but instead a term of 35 years to life at a sentencing hearing at which prosecution and defense will be allowed to offer evidence and present arguments to the court.

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Information from: The Mercury, https://www.pottsmerc.com


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