Life without parole or death? Jury deliberates man who raped, killed girl, 14

Jim Melwert
March 15, 2019 - 3:52 pm
Jacob Sullivan

Bucks County District Attorney's Office

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DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A jury in Bucks County will now decide the fate of 46-year-old Jacob Sullivan, the man accused of raping and killing a 14-year-old girl.

Sullivan pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, along with rape, kidnapping and other charges. He admitted to the rape and murder of 14 year-old Grace Packer while her adoptive mother, Sara Packer, watched.

Despite the guilty plea, prosecutors are still seeking the death penalty. A jury will determine whether Sullivan gets death or life without parole.

RELATED: Horsham man pleads guilty to murder, rape of 14-year-old girl

In his opening statements, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub told the jury of six men and six women, "Imagine the worst thing you can think of to do to a child, because we are going to check off all of those boxes."

Weintraub explained how Sullivan punched the 14-year-old in the face, then sexually assaulted and raped her. Weintraub told the jury the pair planned and acted out a "rape-murder fantasy" with the teen.

He said Sullivan and Sara Packer then left the girl to die, hog-tied in a hot attic, but when they found her still alive 12 hours later, he choked her to death.

They stored her in a container filled with kitty litter in their home before they finally dismembered the body and dumped it in Luzerne County.

But Sullivan's lawyer, Jack Fagan, told jurors Sullivan was manipulated by Sara Packer, saying she "was the driving factor in intent, planning and execution of what happened to her daughter."

The penalty phase is expected to last up to two weeks.