A local man, convicted of murder as a teenager, had his life sentence reduced, on Friday.
In 1990, a jury convicted James “Frankie” Rodgers, from Altoona, in the death of Pasquale Lascoli. The 72-year-old Altoona man suffered nearly 80 stab wounds. Rodgers, 17, at the time, of the crime, was sentenced to life in prison.
Eight years ago the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life terms for homicides committed by juveniles are unconstitutional, and four years later, made that ruling retroactive. That meant that convicted murderers, like Rodgers were entitled to new sentences.
On Friday, a Bedford County Senior Judge sentenced Rodgers to 40 years to life, a term that could leave him back on the street, in eight years.
Lascoli’s family was devastated by the decision.
His daughter Beverly Riley said, “He’ll come up for parole, maybe in eight years. My family will be here, and we will go in front of the parole board, and we will continue fighting. We’re not going to let it go.”
But the family agrees with Blair County District Attorney Rich Consiglio.
He said an appeals court would likely overturn a longer sentence.
“This was a horrific, horrific crime and he deserves life, but the law’s not going to let him get it, it’s just that simple,” Consiglio said.
Rodgers testified at a hearing in June, that he’d been rehabilitated while in prison, but Consiglio disputes that, saying Rodgers committed nearly 100 offenses in prison, and that some of them could have been prosecuted as felonies.