Todd Tarselli was sentenced in 1992 to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Authorities said he killed Mark Bunchalk in January of that year during a robbery at a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Hazleton.
Now, the state superior court ordered Tarselli to be resentenced because of his age. That was based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said it is unconstitutional to sentence a juvenile to life in prison without parole.
The court said it is more than likely Tarselli, who spent his early years in Korea, was actually 17 at the time of the crime, yet, he was sentenced as an adult.
In court paperwork, the superior court cited cultural differences between the United States and Korea. It noted that in Korea, newborns are already considered to be one year old on the day that they are born.
Peter Paul Olszewski was the Luzerne County District Attorney when Tarselli plead guilty to killing Bunchalk in 1992. He tried the case.
“My heart goes out to the Bunchalk family. This was a horrible, tragic, tragic experience for them, and I got to know them,” Olszewski said.
The court said this was a close call, and close calls must go in favor of the defendant.
Olszewski disagreed with the court.
“It’s a terrible result oriented decision. I think prosecutors all throughout the commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be concerned about this opinion,” Olszewski said.
Read the full interview here: Convicted killer to be resentenced due to unique circumstances surrounding his age
Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr., a shareholder and managing partner at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., brings 37 years of litigation experience. He is a renowned trial lawyer in Pennsylvania, specializing in medical malpractice, personal injury, and criminal defense. Peter's notable achievements include securing multi-million-dollar verdicts and serving as District Attorney and Judge. He is committed to community involvement and is actively engaged in various legal associations.
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