2nd brother to be resentenced in parents’ 1995 slayings
ALLENTOWN — A Pennsylvania man described by prosecutors as a neo-Nazi skinhead who admitted bludgeoning his father to death in 1995 is getting a chance at a new sentence.
A state appeals court Monday ordered a resentencing hearing for David Freeman, who is serving a life term in prison for the death of 54-year-old Dennis Freeman.
Last month, the court ordered a similar hearing for David Freeman’s brother Bryan Freeman, who was sent to prison for the stabbing death of their mother, 48-year-old Brenda Freeman.
The brothers were minors when they killed their parents in their Salisbury Township home. Each pleaded guilty to one count of murder in a deal that spared them possible death penalties.
They were granted the resentencing hearings following a U.S. Supreme Court decision banning automatic life-without-parole terms for juvenile killers.
A cousin, Nelson Birdwell III, who turned 18 shortly before the couple’s slaying, was convicted by a jury in Dennis Freeman’s death and is serving a life term.
The Freemans’ 11-year-old brother Erik also was beaten to death, but none of the defendants was convicted in his death.
Authorities say the brothers were raised as devout Jehovah’s Witnesses but had abandoned their faith and adopted white supremacist skinhead ideology. They say the brothers wore military surplus clothes and had face tattoos with the words “Sieg Heil” and “Berserker.”
After the attacks, the brothers and Birdwell fled to Michigan; they were arrested three days later.
Investigators say the deaths inspired another teenager in Lehigh County to shoot his parents with a hunting rifle days later. He was acquitted by reason of insanity.