Michael
Michael

Gov. Tom Corbett on Thursday signed the most recent execution warrant for Hubert Lester Michael Jr., the man who killed a 16-year-old girl 20 years ago.

Michael, who is at the maximum security Greene state prison in Greene County, is scheduled to be executed at Rockview state prison near State College on Monday, Sept. 22, according to a news release from Corbett's office.

Michael was able to previously avoid his court-imposed death with a series of appeals.

"This case goes back to 1993. Enough is enough," said York County District Attorney Tom Kearney.

Kearney had said Michael's latest failed appeal to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals was Michael's last chance to avoid being put to death.

Trista Eng
Trista Eng

Attorneys with the Federal Community Defenders Organization in Philadelphia, which is representing Michael, 57, formerly of Lemoyne, declined comment on Thursday.

Fourth warrant: Governors Tom Ridge and Ed Rendell previously signed execution warrants for Michael in 1996 and 2004, respectively, but appeals halted the execution.

A third warrant was signed by Corbett in 2012, calling for Michael to be executed in November of that year. But am 11th hour stay of execution was issued by the Third Circuit. The stay was lifted in June.

Michael previously claimed to the courts that he's a changed man.

"I view it as a token, self-serving statement," Kearney said. "He is a poster (boy) for the death penalty.


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The murder: Michael killed Trista Eng after he offered her a ride as she was walking to her job at Hardee's in Dillsburg in July, 1993.

The Franklin Township teen accepted his offer. But at some point during the ride, Michael used the electrical cords to tie up Trista, then drove her to state game lands in Warrington Township.

He raped her, put a bag over her head and shot her three times, Michael's former defence attorney, York County chief public defender Bruce Blocher had said.

Blocher revealed details of Michael's confession when called to the stand during a 1997 appeals hearing in the case. However, Kearney said Michael never admitted the rape to the courts, Kearney said.

"She (Trista) was a totally innocent victim," Kearney said.

Michael was charged with homicide in late August 1993, after Trista's body was found by his own family members. Michael had confessed the murder to his brother.

In November 1993, Michael escaped from Lancaster County Prison but was captured in New Orleans in March 1994, according to the Department of Corrections.

He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in 1994 for killing Trista and was sentenced to death.

- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.