Judge commutes death sentence in 1982 Pa. slaying, sentences man to life without parole


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LEBANON, Pennsylvania — A judge has tossed out the death sentence imposed on a man convicted in the murder of a south-central Pennsylvania woman more than three decades ago.

Lebanon County President Judge John Tylwalk on Wednesday commuted 56-year-old Freeman May's sentence and imposed a life prison term without possibility of parole.

May was convicted of the 1982 stabbing death of 22-year-old Kathy Lynn Fair, whose remains were found six years later in woods in Lebanon County.

The judge ruled in April that May was incompetent after a forensic psychologist testified that he suffered from a delusional disorder.

District Attorney David Arnold called it "frustrating" that May hadn't been executed earlier. But he told the Lebanon Daily News that the life term was appropriate now because mentally incompetent defendants can't be executed.

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