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Murder Charges Expected in Officer’s Death

SCRANTON — Three teenagers locked up in Scranton facing robbery charges are expected to be charged with murder on Thursday. The alleged robbery last month...
jones edwards curtis

SCRANTON -- Three teenagers locked up in Scranton facing robbery charges are expected to be charged with murder on Thursday.

The alleged robbery last month is what ultimately led to the death of Scranton police officer John Wilding.

Patrolman Wilding died on July 12 after being injured during a foot chase in Scranton.

On Thursday, investigators are expected to charge the three teens Wilding was allegedly chasing with second degree murder.

Nasiir Jones, Isiah Edwards, and Tanner Curtis are each 17, but prosecutors in Lackawanna County say they expect to charge the three as adults with second degree murder.

The three already face robbery charges for an alleged holdup last month. Prosecutors say the teens led Scranton police on a car chase and then a foot chase.

During that chase, Scranton police Patrolman John Wilding fell about 15 feet over a wall and later died from his injuries.

Jones, Curtis, and Edwards can face murder charges because Officer Wilding died while the alleged robbery was still being carried out.

"If you engage in a violent offense, such as robbery, a felony, and as a result of your actions, it is foreseeable that someone dies," explained defense attorney Corey Kolcharno.

Kolcharno once worked as a criminal prosecutor in Lackawanna County. He says second degree murder fits the bill in this case if prosecutors can convince a jury that the three teens could have anticipated that their actions could hurt someone.

"As a former prosecutor, my argument would be, if you're an individual engaging in a violent offense such as robbery -- here they allege that a shotgun was used -- there's a very good chance that something bad, violent, atrocious, or tragic is going to happen. And it's naturally foreseeable no matter how old you are," said Kolcharno.

Lackawanna County prosecutors are expected to hold a news conference Thursday afternoon to explain their case. After that, the three teens are scheduled to be arraigned on those charges of second degree murder.