Two of four suspects, including a Palmerton man, who were charged with the fatal beating of a Hazleton man and then disposing the body in the Barnesville area last year, entered guilty pleas to a charge of murder in the third degree in the Schuylkill County Court Friday afternoon.
Entering the guilty pleas were Curtis T. Foose, 26, of 336 West Fourth Street, Hazleton, and Shane D. Roof, of Palmerton.
Two others allegedly involved in the slaying, Jeffrey A. Gombert, 20, of Hazleton and Andrew A. Tutko, II, 20, of McAdoo, are to appear in court at a later date. The four were scheduled to go trial Monday at the Schuylkill County Courthouse.
After a lengthy discussion to determine if they were entering the guilty plea on their own volition, Judge Charles M. Miller accepted their pleas and deferred sentence to November 5. Foose and Roof also will be sentenced on robbery and conspiracy charges.
District Attorney James P. Goodman made a motion to nol pros charges of murder in the first and second degree.
The four were charged by Trooper Edward Lizewski of committing the crime on September 14, 2009. The information filed in court claimed that the victim, Anthony Locascio, 21, of Hazleton was lured into a wooded area on the pretense of buying about two pounds of marijuana.
There, he was beaten with metal baseball bats. His clothing and jewelry were removed and the body was disposed in a wooded area off Old Mill Road near Barnesville.