NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Jury selection begins Monday for a man’s trial in the stabbing death of a co-worker during an argument at a suburban Philadelphia meat rendering plant last year.
Thirty-three-year-old Peter Atem of Lansdale is charged in Montgomery County with first- and third-degree murder in the February 2015 slaying of 25-year-old Danny Vazquez at the MOPAC plant in Franconia Township.
Authorities said the stabbing occurred the day after the victim yanked a chair out from under the defendant as a prank. Defense attorney Benjamin Cooper has called the events a fight that “got beyond what it should have.”
The judge earlier denied a defense request to bar prosecutors from using Atem’s statements to detectives. Prosecutors have announced that they won’t seek the death penalty if Atem is convicted of first-degree murder.