The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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April 26, 2012

Suspect in Basilone shooting won't face death penalty

FARRELL — The Farrell teen accused of killing Farrell bar-owner William Basilone Jr. on Dec. 30 won’t face the death penalty, Mercer County District Attorney Robert G. Kochems said.

Kochems won’t pursue a death sentence in the case because the “mitigating factors” a jury would consider against it “outweigh the single factor” to seek it, Mercer County District Attorney Robert G. Kochems said.

Kochems wouldn’t detail the factors to make the argument either way, but the crimes code outlines circumstances including the age of the defendant, their mental state and prior criminal history.

Stewart, 18, has been in Mercer County Jail since Jan. 3. Bond isn’t applicable in homicide cases.

According to the criminal information filed Wednesday, Stewart is charged with one count each of first degree murder and second degree murder. An alleged accomplice, Devine Campbell 17, is charged with second degree murder. Campbell’s also in Mercer County Jail and is charged as an adult in the case.

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