SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— A man accused of killing an 16-month-old boy in 2019 pled guilty to third-degree murder on Tuesday.
Scranton police said Christopher Mele intentionally injured the toddler while his mother was showering on October 29, 2019. Officers said those injuries led to the boy’s death the next day.
According to court documents, Mele pled guilty to third-degree murder and endangering the welfare of children.
Mele’s docket shows that he was originally charged with 1st-degree murder, but that charge was dropped and amended to 3rd-degree murder.
Pennsylvania is one of only three states with third-degree murder charges, the other two are Florida and Minnesota. The other 47 states have first and second-degree charges, but no third-degree charges.