LANCASTER — A central Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to stalking his ex-fiancée and trying to hire a hit man to kill her.
The (Lancaster) Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era says 44-year-old Lonnie Deppen of Ephrata was scheduled for trial Wednesday in Lancaster County but instead pleaded guilty to solicitation of first-degree murder, stalking and other counts.
Prosecutors said he stalked the victim after she ended their relationship, even putting a GPS tracker on her car, then agreed to pay $1,200 in October 2010 to have her killed and gave the supposed hit man a photo, a down payment, and details about when to kill her.
Defense attorney Barry Goldman said he believed "mental health issues" were involved. He said the plea followed the judge's decision to bar an entrapment defense.
Apollo police chief arrested
APOLLO — A police chief in western Pennsylvania has been arrested and charged with selling public property.
Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi says in a statement Wednesday that Paul Breznican Jr. faces felony charges alleging that he sold property belonging to the Apollo Borough, which is about 30 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Officials had suspended him with pay in June.
No attorney for Breznican was listed in court papers.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for July 18.
Paterno, in letter, defends Penn St. football
STATE COLLEGE — Joe Paterno, in a letter written nearly a month before his January death, defends the integrity of the Penn State football program he guided for decades.
In the newly public letter, the Hall of Fame coach also admonishes critics who equated the child sex abuse charges against ex-assistant Jerry Sandusky to a football scandal.
Paterno says the fallout had nothing to do with the on- and off-field achievements of players.
A spokesman for Paterno's family confirms the letter's authenticity to The Associated Press. He says it was a draft intended as an opinion letter seen by several ex-players. It was emailed Wednesday — not by the family, but by an unknown former player to other former players.
The letter was posted on the website FightonState.com, which covers the team.
NCAA: Decision on PSU action at 'appropriate time'
STATE COLLEGE — The NCAA says that it will decide on whether to take action at the "appropriate time" in connection with its inquiry into Penn State and the child sexual abuse scandal that led to the ouster of Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno.
Findings from Penn State's internal investigation into the case of ex-defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky are due Thursday. The NCAA says it has already been collecting information from the probe led by former FBI director Louis Freeh.
The NCAA says Penn State will have to formally respond to questions from NCAA President Mark Emmert, even after Freeh unveils his findings.
The governing body says it won't interfere with other ongoing inquiries into the matter, and will determine if additional action is necessary. They offered no specific timeline.
Trial for father, daughter in baseball scuffle
PITTSBURGH — A judge says a father and daughter will stand trial for a baseball park scuffle in which a security officer almost lost his finger.
Police say 21-year-old Rachel George and her father, 50-year-old Christopher George, were arrested in May after they attacked the guard at PNC Park as Rachel George was being removed from the stadium. They face assault and other charges.
The guard's finger was nearly ripped off when it got caught in a fence and the pair allegedly yanked him away. The finger was reattached at a hospital.
Rachel George also allegedly kicked a Pittsburgh police officer.
Phillip DiLucente, the George's lawyer, says another fan started the fight.
Spanish Website covers voter ID law in English
HARRISBURG — A state website that's supposed to help Spanish-speakers understand Pennsylvania's voting laws uses English to describe the new voter-identification law.
The Spanish-language home page of the State Department "votesPA" website was correctly in Spanish on Wednesday afternoon, except for the all-English link to the law that will require all voters to show photo identification in the Nov. 6 general election.
State Department spokesman Nick Winkler says it's a temporary problem resulting from an ongoing redesign of the website. He says that work should be completed within days.
State Democratic Party spokesman Mark Nicastre said the problem reflects the "haphazard" implementation of the law passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature.
State officials recently acknowledged that nearly 10 percent of the state's 8.2 million voters lack the most commonly used photo ID cards.