Second guilty plea in fatal stabbing of Sami Young
For the second time in a week, the family of murder victim Samantha Young packed Common Pleas Judge Harry M. Ness' courtroom.
Last week, they watched as Marcus Bordelon was sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus 10 to 20 years, for the April 19, 2015, murder of Young inside Bordelon's Wrightsville home.
On Tuesday, they sat silently again as 21-year-old Natasha Marie Stover — Bordelon's accomplice — pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, obstructing the administration of law and conspiracy to obstruct the administration of law.
It's an open plea, meaning it will be up to Ness to determine her punishment. She faces a maximum sentence of 22 to 44 years in state prison.
Ness set Stover's sentencing for 1 p.m. April 27 and ordered that a full pre-sentence report be completed with a sentencing recommendation.
Other charges against Stover, including first-degree murder, will be dismissed after she's sentenced, chief deputy prosecutor Tim Barker confirmed.
He said his office hasn't yet decided how long of a sentence to seek and will review Stover's pre-sentence report and talk with Young's family before that happens.
'Appropriate' agreement: Barker said even though Stover wasn't present when Bordelon fatally stabbed Young, she could still technically be tried for murder under the theory of accomplice liability.
"(But) given her role and given the nature of how Sami Young's death was carried out, (conspiracy to commit murder) seems very appropriate in this case," he said.
Defense attorney Suzanne Smith declined immediate comment Tuesday but said she might be able to comment publicly after Stover is sentenced.
Young's family members said they will speak in court when Stover is sentenced, as they did at Bordelon's sentencing hearing.
Stover, who was Bordelon's girlfriend at the time of the slaying, conspired with him about Young's murder, and the two of them also discussed murdering other people, including Young's boyfriend, Barker said.
Confessed: Stover admitted her part in the murder conspiracy and also admitted to Ness that she helped Bordelon move Young's car away from his home after the murder and also accompanied Bordelon to Home Depot to buy lime.
Bordelon, 23, and Young had a daughter together. Arteya was 1 year old and in her father's home when Bordelon fatally stabbed Young at least 49 times, according to earlier testimony.
In court on Feb. 21, Bordelon said he hopes his guilty plea and sentence will help bring closure to Young's family.
"I have searched the depths of myself," he said. "I can't say how or why I let myself commit this unbearable act."
Bordelon said his insecurities — anger, jealousy and paranoia — played a part.
"I refused to seek professional help ... out of shame of what other people would think of me," he told the judge. "I'm truly sorry for my selfish ... choices."
The background: Bordelon lured Young to his Chestnut Street home by telling her something was wrong with Arteya, who was visiting her father that night, according to Young's family. Bordelon and Young were no longer involved.
Young suffered stab wounds and cuts all over her body, including clusters of stab wounds to her back and wounds to her neck, head, chest, arms and legs.
Stab wounds penetrated her heart, both lungs, liver and diaphragm, according to Dr. Michael Johnson, a forensic pathologist who testified at Bordelon's preliminary hearing.
Johnson said Young suffered at least 49 stab wounds, probably more. He explained that "clusters" of wounds with "co-mingled" pathways made it difficult to count the wounds with certainty.
Bordelon used a stun gun to keep Young, who lived in York Township, from leaving his home before killing her, according to Wrightsville Police.
Officers responding to Bordelon's home on April 19, 2015, found Young's body in a locked shed in Bordelon's yard, documents state. It appeared that she had been dragged there, preliminary hearing testimony indicated.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.