Surprise guilty plea entered in Edwardsville murder case


LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A surprise plea deal was reached by one of the four suspects accused of killing an elderly Edwardsville man this spring.

Mercedes Lin Hall pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the April beating and stabbing death of 71-year-old Joseph Monka in his Larksville home.

Hall and three other people, 17-year-old Gabriella Long (Monka’s Granddaughter) as well as 19-year-old Christopher Cortez and 20-year-old Devin Cunningham, are charged in the murder.

The four allegedly stole $30,000 in cash from Monka’s safe after the killing.

Hall was in court for a decertification hearing. She was trying to have her case sent to juvenile court when her lawyer announced a plea offer from the District Attorney’s Office.

As part of the plea, she has agreed to testify against the other defendants.

Hall and Long allegedly planned the attack on Monka. 

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