Man pleads guilty but mentally ill in 2018 Paradise Township shooting death

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STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – A week before his trial was set to start, a Monroe County man pleaded guilty to third-degree murder.

David Green walked into the Paradise Township Municipal Building in November 2018, and gunned down an official.

Jury selection was scheduled to start early Tuesday morning in Monroe County, but it was canceled as David Green entered into a plea agreement with the Commonwealth.

“The people who worked at Paradise Township that day don’t have to have to be dragged through a trial in the matter,” said Michael Mancuso, Monroe County First Asst. District Attorney.

David Green of Swiftwater plead guilty but mentally ill to third-degree murder on Monday.

A picture sent to Eyewitness News shows the moment state police took the now 73-year-old into custody in November of 2018.

Moments prior, Green entered Paradise Township Municipal Building to meet with 65-year-old Michael Tripus inside his office.

“Mr. Tripus never had the ability to stand up from his chair. He was shot once in the chest, the defendant put the gun down and waited for the arrival of police,” said Mancuso.

Michael Tripus

Tripus was the township’s sewage enforcement officer and building code official.

Green spent thousands of dollars gutting his home because of the smell of mold, and noise of mice, and squirrel infestation. He slept most nights in hotels, tents or one of the five vehicles he purchased and traded in, saying they too had a smell.

The court acknowledged Green has had a mental illness for at least five years.

“The defense has several experts of their own look into it and they came up with the same finding that he was not insane but did have this delusional disorder which is a mental illness.”

Green purchased the gun that killed Tripus weeks before the shooting. The defense’s forensic psychiatrist told the court Monday via phone, that Green had no motive but is dealing with mild cognitive impairment and signs of Alzheimer’s.

“Whatever sentence the court imposes will ensure that Mr. Green does not see the light of day again. So, he is not in a position to do this to anyone else,” Mancuso added.

Monday’s guilty plea is an open plea, which means there is no suggestion for how long Green could be behind bars, that will be up to a county judge.

We’re told it could be a minimum sentence of seven years, or a maximum of 20 to 40 years, which prosecutors are seeking. David Green is expected to be sentenced in May. He’s already served 14 months in prison.

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