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Judge sentences man to 24-49 years in Schuylkill beating death

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Published January 22. 2019 12:41PM


A Schuylkill County man was sentenced Tuesday morning in the 2017 beating death of his father, a prominent defense attorney.

President Judge William Baldwin sentenced Michael D. Marchalk to 24 1/2 to 49 years in prison on Tuesday in the Father’s Day death of Gary D. Marchalk.

State troopers testified that Marchalk, 37, told police he used an aluminum baseball bat to bludgeon his father to death.

Baldwin told Marchalk Tuesday, “You’ll be a senior citizen before you are eligible for parole. Your father never got to be a senior citizen.”

According to testimony at the trial, Michael Marchalk had moved back to Schuylkill County in November 2016 after living near Pittsburgh for a few years, in a house bought by his father, who, along with Michael’s stepmother, Linda Marchalk, paid the bills.

He lived off and on with Matthew in a house, again purchased by their father, in Frackville.

On Friday, June 16, 2017, Michael stayed with Gary Marchalk in Gary’s home at 21 Pear St., Barnesville, with plans to enter drug rehab on the morning of June 19.

According to Michael Marchalk’s testimony, he was beginning to withdraw from heroin, and on Sunday, June 18, asked his father for money to buy the drug to “take the edge off.”

The two argued, and Gary Marchalk tossed Michael $38 he had in his wallet, and let him use his truck to go to Hazleton to buy heroin.

All Michael’s dealer had was crack cocaine. Michael took that, and drove to the Walmart parking lot in Hometown, where he smoked the drug and debated going back to his father’s house.

Eventually, he did, and after talking with his father, went upstairs to where Gary Marchalk was lying on his bed, dressed only in jeans and socks.

Gary Marchalk sat up abruptly, and swung the bat he always kept by his side at Michael, hitting him twice on the arm, blows Michael said didn’t hurt him.

Michael threw an iron at Gary, but missed.

The two struggled, with Michael gaining control of the bat.

He hit Gary several times in the face and head, and Gary rolled off the bed, landing face-first in the floor.


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