Guilty Plea Expected Friday In Linda Stoltzfoos Case

It’s being reported that Justo Smoker is expected to plead guilty tomorrow (Friday) in the Lancaster County Courthouse. Smoker has been charged with homicide, kidnapping and false imprisonment regarding the disappearance and death of Linda Stoltzfoos.

However, one – wrinkle? – in this report is the fact that it’s not being made known to which charges he’ll plead guilty. From Lancaster Online:

The Lancaster County Court calendar says Smoker is scheduled to enter a guilty plea at 9 a.m. Friday, but it does not specify to which charges. His attorney, Christopher Tallarico, confirmed Smoker will plead guilty in the case, but declined to provide specifics. District Attorney Heather Adams has a news conference scheduled for Friday after the hearing but also declined comment on Wednesday.

I am not sure why it wasn’t also revealed what charges he intends to plead guilty to, but perhaps that is fairly common practice. The other thought I had – is it possible that he would plead guilty only to one, or some, of the charges? It seems unlikely. But it’s hard for me to say when it comes to legal maneuverings, not my area.

Linda Stoltzfoos disappeared after church last June. Smoker was arrested for her abduction in July and then charged with homicide in December. Following exhaustive searches, Linda’s body was finally found in April and laid to rest.

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    2 Comments

    1. Debbie

      Good riddance to bad rubbish.

      Lock him up & throw away the key Then, we can work on forgiveness.

    2. Heather Knisley

      Unfortunately, I think what happens in a plea bargain situation is that the DA amends the charges and the person pleads guilty to whatever charges they agreed to. In a murder case they often offer life in prison in lieu of the death penalty. I hope he gets what he deserves.