Nineteen-year-old charged with killing great-grandfather

Last updated: June 14. 2013 12:20AM - 5006 Views

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WILKES-BARRE — Attorneys in the case of a teen charged in the shooting death of his great-grandfather in December 2009 said Thursday a possible plea agreement in the case may occur rather than a trial.

Attorneys for Cody Lee, charged in the shooting death of 80-year-old Herbert Lee in Lake Township, told county Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr., that a resolution in the case – a possible plea agreement – is being discussed with prosecutors.

Lee's attorney, Peter Paul Olszewski Jr., said Thursday a meeting is scheduled with prosecutors next week, when they will be “negotiating a resolution,” and he asked that another judge be assigned to help them come to the resolution.

Olszewski suggested Senior Judge Joseph Augello be appointed to help the attorneys so that in the event the case does go to trial, Sklarosky has no knowledge of the negotiation conversation. Augello had previously presided over aspects of Lee's case and is familiar with circumstances surrounding the charges.

Sklarosky said the attorneys must notify him by June 24 if they've come to a resolution so that tentative future hearings – including one scheduled for August – can still be held.

Lee had originally been charged in 2009, and his attorneys attempted to have his case heard in juvenile court because Lee was 16 at the time of the shooting.

A county judge denied that request, and Lee's case was sent to a district judge for a preliminary hearing, a court proceeding that had been put on hold until the outcome of the juvenile request.

District Judge James Tupper said prosecutors did not establish enough evidence against Lee to bring a charge of homicide, but then Lee was rearrested seconds later. A second hearing was held before District Judge Paul Roberts, who moved the case to county court.

Investigators allege Lee plotted to kill his great-grandfather, Herbert Lee, and his father, Scott Lee, on Dec. 9, 2009.

A few hours after Lee's classes ended at Lake-Lehman High School, where he was a junior, he completed half of his alleged murderous plot by shooting Herbert Lee inside their home at 443 Meeker Outlet Road in Lake Township, according to the criminal complaint.

Lee's father wrestled a rifle away from his son, who fled the house wearing only jeans, a T-shirt and socks, authorities said. He spent several hours wandering in the woods talking to friends on a cellphone before he was captured by state police as his father picked him up near the house, authorities said.

Prosecutors say Lee had a handwritten plan to carry out.

The plan listed “finding grandpa's guns, kill grandpa, find money and clothes, wait for dad, kill dad, and leave with a friend,” and included times when the plot was to be carried out, according to the criminal complaint.

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