A Ross Township couple is awaiting sentencing after entering guilty pleas Friday to third-degree murder for fatally neglecting a 70-year-old stroke victim left in their care.
John Tedesco, 45, and Tina Tedesco, 38, each face 12 to 40 years in state prison in the 2011 death of Barbara Rabins, 70. The couple entered guilty pleas to third-degree murder in exchange for other charges against them being dropped.
Had they instead gone to trial and been convicted by a jury, each would have faced a minimum of 20 years in prison, a higher minimum within the state sentencing range guidelines for this particular crime. But since both agreed to plead guilty, part of the deal is for each to face a lesser minimum within the sentencing range guidelines.
Though the couple has entered guilty pleas, Monroe County Court Judge Art Zulick will decide whether to accept their pleas after reviewing pre-sentencing investigation reports, which contain information about the defendants and their case to help the judge determine how severe to make the sentences under state guidelines. If Zulick for whatever reason denies either or both pleas, either or both defendants will go to trial.
On Aug. 18, 2011, Rabins’ body was found in the Tedescos’ living room. Rabins was in a wheelchair, wearing a soiled diaper with her body covered in sores and open wounds and her hands and fingernails caked with her own feces, according to last year’s preliminary hearing testimony and autopsy photos.
The Tedescos left Rabins — who was partially paralyzed with limited ability to move around — unkempt, unwashed and in her own filth. She died from dehydration while choking on a 2-inch piece of cheese found in her throat, county Deputy Coroner Cindy Skrzypek said.
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