2011-03-24 / Local & State

Police: U.S. Man, 70, Stoned To Death By Friend

MEDIA, Pennsylvania (AP) – A 70-year-old man was stoned to death with a rock stuffed in a sock by a younger friend who alleged the victim made unwanted sexual advances, authorities said.

According to the criminal complaint, John Thomas, 28, of a Philadelphia suburb, told police he killed Murray Seidman of nearby Lansdowne because the Bible refers to stoning homosexuals.

“I stoned Murray with a rock in a sock,’’ Thomas told police, according to the criminal complaint. Thomas was arrested and charged with murder Friday.

According to the complaint, “John Thomas stated that he read in the Old Testament that homosexuals should be stoned in certain situations. The answer John Thomas received from his prayers was to put an end to the victim’s life. John Thomas stated that he struck the victim approximately 10 times in the head. After the final blow, John Thomas made sure the victim was dead.’’

“He is a deeply religious man. Or so he says,’’ said Lansdowne Police Chief Dan Kortan.

Delaware County Medical Examiner Fredric Hellman ruled that Seidman had been dead for five to 10 days before Thomas started banging on doors in the hallway of Seidman’s apartment building on Jan. 12.

Police said Thomas, who is the executor and sole beneficiary of Seidman’s will, returned to the apartment and pretended that he had just discovered Seidman’s body.

Thomas had no comment as he was led out of the Delaware County Courthouse on Friday. Seidman was a longtime worker in the laundry department at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, where he was “very popular,’’ Kortan said. “As far as we are concerned, he was a model citizen,’’ Kortan said.

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