Man pleads guilty to murder in drug deal gone wrong

His wife and co-defendant is scheduled to plead guilty next week.

Jim Melwert
August 30, 2018 - 3:53 pm
Austin Parkinson

Plymouth Township Police Department

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PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A 21-year-old Montgomery County man will spend at least the next four decades in prison after pleading guilty to a murder in Plymouth Township last fall. 

Austin Parkinson from West Norriton admitted to killing and robbing 31-year-old Chad Konata in a parking lot along Ridge Pike in Conshohocken around 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2017. 

Prosecutor Tonya Lupinacci said Parkinson and his wife, Lana Lare, set up a drug deal with Konata with plans to rob him at knifepoint. Parkinson in particular armed himself with a knife that had at least a 10-inch blade.

"When the robbery didn’t go as planned, Parkinson and Lare stabbed Mr. Konata" at least 10 times, she explained.

Parkinson pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. He was sentenced to 40 to 80 years in prison, which Lupinacci said will likely be a life sentence.

"This was a senseless and brutal murder of somebody. Even though Chad Konata was there to deal heroin, Chad Konata did not need to die as a result of this, did not need to die in the manner that he died in," she added.

Lare is scheduled to plead guilty next week.