By: Don Shaw email: don.shaw@pennsylvaniachronicle.com (570) 543-2961

Dauphin County DA: Man held on strangulation charge solicited murder of wife from prison

Dauphin County DA: Man held on strangulation charge solicited murder of wife from prison

Harrisburg, PA

Today, detectives from the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office charged Leroy Newton Vencak, Jr., with criminal solicitation to commit murder.  At the time of the solicitation, Vencak was being held in the Dauphin County Prison on charges of aggravated assault and strangulation of his wife.  

The criminal complaint charges Vencak solicited another person last month from the prison by mail to murder his wife.  The solicitation letter provided details about the home where his wife lived.  According the probable cause affidavit, upon being told by detectives that the letter with the solicitation was being submitted for DNA analysis, Vencak confessed to having sent the letter requesting the murder. 

Vencak said that he considered his wife a “rat” because she had spoken to the police about the aggravated assault and refused to drop the charges against him. Upon learning of the murder plot, the District Attorney’s Office alerted the potential victim so that she could relocate while the investigation proceeded. 

District Attorney Fran Chardo praised the outstanding work of Chief County Detective John Goshert, Detective John O’Connor, and Chief Deputy District Attorney Jack Canavan.  As this is a mere charge against Vencak, he remains presumed innocent.  Magisterial District Judge Michael J. Smith ordered Vencak to be held in the Dauphin County Prison without bail on the new charge.

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Don Shaw

Don Shaw journalist covering local news for The Pennsylvania Chronicle (717) 461-2107 don.shaw@pennsylvaniachronicle.com