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Man spared death penalty in 2012 double-murder, torture-slaying of woman; brother awaits trial


READING, Pennsylvania — A man convicted in two murders and the torture-killing of a woman who witnessed the slayings has been spared the death penalty.

The Reading Eagle (http://bit.ly/1Gtu8sx ) reports that Berks County jurors deliberated for about four hours Wednesday before sentencing 41-year-old Michael Wilkins to life in prison in the murder of 22-year-old Rafael Alequin.

But jurors failed to reach agreement on sentences in the other slayings, meaning Wilkins will also be sentenced to life terms without possibility of parole in those cases.

Prosecutors allege that Wilkins and his brother killed Alequin and 22-year-old Dario McLemore in December 2012 for selling them fake cocaine, then kidnapped and killed 26-year-old Jennifer Velez-Negron because she was part of the deal and witnessed the slayings.

Thirty-four-year-old Maurice Wilkins is awaiting trial in the case.

Information from: Reading Eagle, http://www.readingeagle.com/

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