Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 42 year-old Kenneth Markle of 15 Magnolia Street, Lackawanna was sentenced to 7 years in state prison, in connection with his conviction for Assault in the Second Degree, before Supreme Court Justice Deborah Haendiges.
On Halloween of last year, having darkened his apartment, Markel laid in wait for the arrival of his estranged wife. Markle attacked upon her arrival, striking her in the head with a baseball bat and strangling her. The victim desperately fought him off and was able to flee with the couple’s child to a neighbor’s house for safety and summoned the police.
Instead of peacefully being placed under arrest, the defendant elected to engage in a 5-hour stand-off with the Lackawanna Police Department while neighborhood children would have otherwise been trick-or-treating. During the stand-off, Markle boasted through texts, phone calls, and social media that he was the cause of the neighborhood disruption. The SWAT team and hostage negotiators were called and were eventually able to convince Markle to surrender without further harm to anyone. DA Sedita credited the extensive efforts of the Lackawanna Police Department in obtaining a peaceful resolution.
At sentencing the defendant pleaded with Justice Haendiges to sentence him to a minimal period of jail, followed by probation, because he promised to be a productive member of society. Justice Haendiges rebuffed Markle’s request, stating that the only way she could ensure the safety of his wife was to sentence Markle to the maximum sentence of seven years in state prison.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rachel Newton, Chief of DA Sedita’s Domestic Violence Bureau.