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Trio Sentenced to State Prison for Bizarre Murder

SCRANTON — Three friends face long prison terms for the bizarre murder of a young man. That murder case came to a close Wednesday afternoon in a courtroom...

SCRANTON -- Three friends face long prison terms for the bizarre murder of a young man.

That murder case came to a close Wednesday afternoon in a courtroom in Scranton. Three people were sent to state prison for the murder of their friend Joshua Rose of Luzerne County.

Rose's family says his killers' greatest crime was inaction.

The judge called this case "mind-boggling" and one of the most bizarre set of facts he's ever seen in a murder case -- three people strangling a friend whom they thought was overdosing on opiates, then driving for miles with his dead body before dumping it over an embankment in Susquehanna County.

Attorneys say all three played a role, but some of them will serve more prison time.

Preston Layfield, Tyler Mirabelli, and Amanda Wayda got into a truck in August of 2016 with their friend Joshua Rose whom they thought was having an overdose.

What exactly happened next only these three know for sure.

Joshua Rose, 21, was killed, investigators say, by being strangled with jumper cables in the back of that truck.

All three of his killers pleaded guilty to third-degree murder earlier this year.

"When we look at all three of the individuals, I think it's difficult to say which one was the most culpable, but Joshua Rose did not have to die. This was a senseless act and any of them could have done something different," said Lackawanna County Deputy District Attorney Mariclare Hayes.

Tyler Mirabelli was the driver of the truck. He was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.

Preston Layfield is the one who strangled Rose with the jumper cables, he also received 20 to 40 years.

Amanda Wayda was sentenced to 15 to 40 years. Wayda was Rose's ex-girlfriend.

Rose's family places most of the blame with Amanda. They say she had the power to get Rose help but never did.

"I think it may take a while for her to take ownership of what she's actually done. And I think it's going to take a rude awakening, maybe, going to state prison, for her to realize and own up to her actions in the whole thing. Maybe down the road, we can meet again and maybe get a sincere apology," said Joshua's mother Mary Rose Pope.

The family even brought a picture of their last Thanksgiving with Joshua, hoping the three think of it as they spend the holiday behind bars.

"At any given time, this could have stopped, and to commit a senseless murder? Like the judge said, why? That's the only question I have for them. Why?" said Joshua's grandfather John Gilligan.

Seven of Joshua's family members spoke at the sentencing, many of them reminding the defendants that Rose's 3-year-old son will never know his father.