- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - An appeals court has denied a man’s bid to withdraw his guilty pleas in the drug-related slayings of four people in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens’ Voice (https://bit.ly/1ToxyEI ) reports that a three-judge Superior Court panel on Tuesday rejected the appeal of 22-year-old Shawn Hamilton.

Hamilton was sentenced to four life terms in Luzerne County after he and his brother, Sawud Davis, pleaded guilty in the July 2012 murders of 21-year-old Bradley Swartwood, 17-year-old Nicholas Maldonado and 15-year-old Lisa Abaunza. Hamilton also pleaded guilty to the murder of a fourth person the day before.

He argued that he had been pressured to plead guilty and his attorneys were ill-prepared, but a judge said the defense team spared him the death penalty and negotiated a 20- to 40-year term for Davis.

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Information from: The Citizens’ Voice, https://www.citizensvoice.com


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