Man gets life plus 11 to 22 years in homicide, rape case

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A western Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole and a consecutive 11- to 22-year sentence in the strangulation death of a man and the rape of a woman last year.

Richard Mickens, 59, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Allegheny County to first-degree murder in the death of 51-year-old Luke Connelly in Carnegie in May 2019.

Mickens also pleaded guilty to the rape and aggravated assault, for which the consecutive term was imposed.

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors withdrew their bid to seek the death penalty in the case.

The then-31-year-old victim told police she arrived at the apartment and found Connolly lying on the kitchen floor having trouble breathing, and the defendant then beat, stabbed and raped her. She said after Connolly was making noises on the floor, the defendant wrapped a garbage bag around his head and stabbed him with a screwdriver.