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Teen to stand trial in Northampton Co. double murder

The North Whitehall Township suspect charged with the deaths of a mother and her daughter in North Catasauqua waived his preliminary hearing Thursday at the Northampton County Courthouse before Magisterial District Judge Robert Hawke.

John Derwin Bradley, 17, of Schnecksville, was charged in September with two felony 1 counts of criminal homicide for the deaths of Rosalyn Siobal Glass, 39, and her 16-year-old daughter, Rianna Lynn Glass, in their home on Sept. 13.

Bradley is also charged with theft by unlawful taking movable property for allegedly taking the Rosalyn Siobal’s car and crashing it a short time later in Upper Saucon Township. This is a felony 3 count. The crash resulted in the hospitalization of his passenger, a 14-year-old girl from Orefield, and his own injuries.

A preliminary hearing is usually held within two weeks of the arrest, according to the state Victim Services Department. One was scheduled for Bradley for Sept. 28, but Bradley’s attorney, a public defender named Molly Magin Heirdorn, requested a continuance.

The purpose of a preliminary hearing is for evidence to be presented to the judge by the prosecution and defense. The prosecution has to show evidence that a crime has taken place and that the defendant is the one who most likely committed the crime.

Chief Deputy District Attorney William Blake said his office provided Bradley’s defense lawyers, who also include public defender Matthew Potts, with the pictures and videos from the crime scene with the hope they would consider waiving the preliminary hearing. Blake said they did this so that the friends and family would not have to view those images in court.

In the courtroom on Thursday, two of the three rows behind the district attorney were filled with family and friends of Rosalyn and Rianna.

By waiving his preliminary hearing, the case can go directly to the Common Pleas Court.

Charged as an adult, Bradley continues to be held in Northampton County Prison, but in an area apart from adult prisoners, Blake said. Bail was denied following his arrest in September. A formal arraignment and pretrial conference has been scheduled for 9 a.m. on Jan. 18 in courtroom 1.

As for the girl riding in the car with Bradley when it crashed, questions remain unanswered. Blake said she is still in serious condition at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with traumatic brain injury and remains intubated.

“If she’s able to ultimately communicate with us, it’s going to be awhile,” Blake said.

In the meantime, Blake said they “continue to investigate every part of this case, including the crash scene.”