Man enters not guilty pleas to charges in mother's death

In addition to murder charges, Marcus Wallace faces counts of burglary, criminal trespass and criminal mischief

March 16, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — A man accused of killing his 70-year-old mother entered not guilty pleas Wednesday to five criminal charges, including first-degree murder and second-degree murder.

Marcus Wallace, 40, entered the pleas during a half-hour mandatory arraignment before Judge Richard Walsh in Franklin County (Pa.) Court. In addition to the murder charges, Wallace faces counts of burglary, criminal trespass and criminal mischief.

Consuella Wallace suffered a depressed skull fracture after someone made forcible entry in a window of her Hamilton Township, Pa., home on Dec. 10, 2009, and attacked her. She died in February 2010.

Franklin County District Attorney Matthew Fogal has filed paperwork necessary to seek the death penalty in the case.

A request to quash that document, known as a "notice of aggravating circumstances," is among more than 15 motions already filed by the defendant. Marcus Wallace expressed concern during arraignment about all the motions having been received, so Walsh retrieved papers stacked over a foot high to show Wallace they were filed, often in their original envelopes from jail.

"The court has seen all of these motions," Walsh said.

Wallace asked the judge about having a second attorney assigned to his case now that the death penalty is a possible sentence. Walsh responded he will soon assign an attorney to partner with Public Defender Mike Toms.

"I think the game plan is to have several conferences (with the defendant and attorneys) between now and when your case is ready for trial," Walsh said.

The notice of aggravating circumstances lists killing during felony burglary as the grounds for seeking the death penalty.

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