Pa. man wants to nix guilty but mentally ill plea

MEDIA, Pa. (AP) — A suburban Philadelphia man who pleaded guilty but mentally ill to the stoning death of his elderly neighbor wants to withdraw his plea.

Thirty-one-year-old John Thomas of Upper Darby entered the plea in February 2012 and was sentenced to 20 to 40 years.

Prosecutors said he killed 70-year-old Murray Seidman of Lansdowne in January 2011 with a rock stuffed in a sock.

The Delaware County Daily Times (http://bit.ly/1nOXuYM) said Thomas' attorney announced Tuesday that his client now wants to enter an open plea to third-degree murder, which could carry a shorter sentence.

The judge didn't rule immediately on the motion but told Thomas that if he gets permission to withdraw the plea, he'd have to plead guilty to all charges, including first-degree murder, or face trial on the first-degree charge.

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Information from: Delaware County Daily Times, http://www.delcotimes.com

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