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Inmate Charged with Murder

June 18, 2014
CLEARFIELD A S.C.I. Houtzdale inmate has been charged with the murder of a fellow inmate. District Attorney William Shaw Jr. identified the defendant as Lawrence Edward Peterson, Jr., age 44, from Easton, Pennsylvania.
An Affidavit of Probable Cause filed by Trooper Patrick states that on August 2, 2013, S.C.I.Houtzdale employees responded to cell #42 on the B Side of the F Unit in the State Correctional Institution at Houtzdale, as a result of inmates yelling that another inmate was killing his cellmate.

Upon arrival at cell #42, the employees observed inmate William Keitel, age 59, of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, lying on the cell floor bleeding profusely from the head and face. Staff said that the cell was in disarray, with blood on the floor and sink. It was determined that Peterson had assaulted inmate Keitel by striking him in the head and face several times with his fists then kicking Keitel in the head, face, shoulder area, and other areas of his body numerous times.

Inmate Keitel was transported to the Altoona General Hospital for treatment where he was placed in the ICU/Trauma Unit. Keitel was treated for traumatic head injuries, skull and rib fractures, lacerations, contusions, and abrasions. Neurologic exams revealed traumatic brain injury and unresponsiveness. Keitel was declared brain dead on August 11, 2013.

On June 10, 2014, Trooper David Patrick of the Pennsylvania State Police, Clearfield Barracks, filed a Criminal Complaint charging Peterson with: 1) Criminal Homicide; 2) Murder of the First Degree; 3)  Murder of the Third Degree, F1; 4) Aggravated Assault, F1; 5) Involuntary Manslaughter, M1; and 6) Recklessly Endangering Another Person, M2.

On June 17, 2014, Peterson was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge James Hawkins, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 21, 2014. Shaw stated that Peterson is currently serving a sentence of 40 years to 80 years for Robbery with serious bodily injury. Shaw thanked the Pennsylvania State Police and the staff of S.C.I. Houtzdale for their hard work and assistance with this case.

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