Prosecutors in central Pennsylvania say a man fatally stabbed an 87-year-old relative of a witness in a sexual assault case against him.
Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico announced charges Tuesday against 29-year-old DaJuan Porter. He says Porter broke into the Derry Township home early on June 11 and stabbed Joyce Roth as she slept.
Roth, from South Whitehall Township outside Allentown, was staying at her son's home to attend her great-granddaughter's high school graduation. Police say Porter was iniitially targeting Roth's relative who used to live at the home. The Dauphin County District Attorney says that the relative is a man Porter is accused of sexually assaulting a year and a half ago.
"We are confident he went there with the intent to intimidate the victim of that crime," said Ed Marisco.
Marisco also says Porter went after another one of his accusers that same day by setting a home on fire in Lower Paxton Township. No one was hurt during that incident.
Marisco believes Porter committed the crimes because he wanted to try to frighten his accusers from testifying against him in the sexual assault case. Porter was going to be tried on charges that involved him having unconsensual oral sex with three males, according to Marisco.
"It's very rare we see any sort of action against witnesses or victims," Marisco said. "We are very fortunate that we don't normally see retaliation. This is incredibly rare."
Porter was free on unsecured bail when he allegedly killed Roth.
He's in Dauphin County Prison on charges of first-degree murder, arson and witness intimidation.