Court Briefs

Fernandes -
Marsicano -

Trial continued in

murder-for-hire case

WILKES-BARRE — Initially set to begin this week, the trial for a Butler Township woman accused of trying to hire someone to kill her ex-husband and his new wife has been postponed until September.

Agnes Marsicano, 62, was set to begin her trial Monday, but Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough granted a defense motion for continuance.

The trial has been tentatively rescheduled to Sept. 10, on the grounds that Marsicano must have a competency evaluation before the trial begins.

Marsicano allegedly attempted to hire someone to kill her ex-husband, Dwight Bicking, and later changed her mind, asking for his new wife, Amy Metzger Bicking, be killed instead.

The man Marsicano allegedly contacted for the killings was an undercover police officer.

“I want her, I want her gone, I want her gone as soon as possible. This will take care of my ex-husband, help me, and help my children,” the suspect allegedly told the undercover officer.

Marsicano, who was not transported to the courthouse for Monday’s hearing, remains locked up in the county jail without bail.

Man admits sex

with underage girl

WILKES-BARRE — A West Pittston man has pleaded guilty to charges that he had sex with an underage girl for years.

Mendel Fernandes, 38, entered guilty pleas on one felony count each of involuntary deviant sexual intercourse and corruption of minors before Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas.

Other charges were dropped by prosecutors in exchange for the guilty plea.

Fernandes was arrested last November after an Exeter teen claimed she had a sexual relationship with him from the time she was 13 until last October, when she was 15.

Fernandes was accused of having sex with her at numerous locations, exchanging nude photos with her and even filming the sex acts.

Police said he admitted to having sex with the girl, but denied filming the acts.

Fernandes will be sentenced Aug. 8.

Earlier this year, Fernandes was sentenced to 50 to 100 months — roughly four to eight years — in state prison on charges of possessing a firearm as a felon.

Fernandes was originally serving three years in the state intermediate punishment program, or IPP, which allowed for house arrest. But Lupas revoked this sentence, agreeing with prosecutors that the child-sex charges were a violation of the terms of his sentence.

He was remanded to a state lockup until his sentencing on the child-sex charges.

Teen accused of homicide

must remain at state hospital

WILKES-BARRE — The Trucksville teen accused of stabbing three members of a Kingston Township family, killing one, has been ordered to stay in a state hospital.

Zachary Lee Hockenberry, 16, was ruled incompetent to stand trial last June by Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough.

The teen is accused of stabbing David Sinoracki, 45; his wife, Bobbi Jo Sinoracki, 36; and their 17-year-old daughter, Megan Sinoracki, at their Kingston Township residence in September 2016. The father of the family died of his wounds.

Hockenberry, who allegedly broke into the home, was 14 at the time.

Expert psychologists for both the defense and prosecution agreed he was not competent to stand trial.

On Tuesday, Vough filed a further order, staying Hockenberry must remain at Norristown State Hospital for continuing treatment.

At this moment, the case against him remains stayed until further notice

By Patrick Kernan