Pa. Couple Plead Guilty To Killing Woman's Father
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A suburban Philadelphia woman and her boyfriend have pleaded guilty to killing her father, after which prosecutors said they tried to dismember his body with a chain saw before disposing of it in a wooded area in New Jersey.
The body of 46-year-old Marc Rubin was found in the Pine Barrens in December 2008. Montgomery County prosecutors said Rubin was killed with a shotgun Nov. 28, but his body was left in his apartment for more than a week before it was dumped.
Christina Rubin, 23, and 21- year-old Jeffrey Leinheiser, 21, pleaded guilty Friday to an open charge of murder, leaving a judge to determine their degree of guilt. They could face life in prison if the judge determines that they are guilty or premeditated murder, or a 10- to 20-year sentence if the judge decides the crime was voluntary manslaughter.
The Jenkintown couple also pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to murder, abuse of corpse, and lying to investigators.
Defense lawyers allege that the woman suffered years of physical, sexual and mental abuse at the hands of her father.
"She lived in constant fear of her life,'' said Martin P. Mullaney, Christina Rubin's court-appointed attorney.
Police said the two decided to kill Marc Rubin after he fought with his daughter before Thanksgiving. Leinheiser, Christina Rubin's boyfriend of a few months, told her that he wanted to kill her father, and she agreed, police said.
"I think he was in love with her, and I think he was coming to her aid,'' said Steven F. Fairlie, Leinheiser's attorney.
But prosecutor Kevin Steele says investigators have found no evidence of abuse, and in any case she could have left rather than killing him.
"They're looking for some kind of abuse excuse and trying to use that to get their clients off murder,'' he said. "I hope the judge will see through that.''
Rubin and Leinheiser, who are both scheduled to have hearings Nov. 16, have been at Montgomery County jail since their arrest in January. Daniel P. Dougherty, 19, who police said helped dispose of the body, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty last spring to misdemeanor charges of tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.