A local man who’s serving a life sentence for murder, is trying to get out of prison early. Frankie Rodgers was 17 years old at the time of the killing, back in 1988.
Now, an inmate at SCI Somerset, Rodgers spent the last two days in front of a judge at the Blair County Courthouse. He and his defense team are trying to take advantage of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that found automatic life without parole to be cruel and unusual punishment for juveniles.
Rodgers was convicted in 1990 in the brutal killing of Pasquale Lascoli.
The 72-year-old Altoona man had been stabbed nearly 80 times. Police said robbery was the motive.
Rodgers, now 49 years old, has served 29 years of his sentence. His lawyers would like the sentence to be reduced to 25 years, which would make it possible for him to be paroled.
On Thursday, nearly a dozen of the victim’s family members spoke out against any change in Rodgers sentence. Lascoli’s daughter Beverly Riley says ever since the murder, she’s lived in fear, afraid to answer her door.
The victim’s grandson talked about the pain his family has felt since the murder.
A professor, considered an expert witness on prisons and punishment testified that Rodgers had matured while in prison and would be a safe candidate for what he called a “structured re-entry into society.”
Bedford County Senior Judge Daniel Howsare is presiding over the hearing and will decide whether to grant Rogers’ request.