Dakota Thornton was fifteen years old from Pennsylvania when he murdered his older brother. According to court documents Dakota Thornton was in love with his brother’s girlfriend so he figured the best way to deal with it was to kill his brother. This teen killer would fatally shoot his brother with a shotgun. Once police arrived on the scene Dakota would quickly confessed to the murder. Dakota would plead guilty and be sentenced to seven and a half years to forty five years in prison
Parole Number: NA1763
Date of Birth: 07/09/2000
Height: 5′ 07″
Current Location: SOMERSET
Permanent Location: SOMERSET
Committing County: DAUPHIN
Nearly a year to the day after the slaying, a 16-year-old upper Dauphin County boy pleaded guilty Wednesday to third-degree murder for fatally shooting his 18-year-old brother during a dispute over a girl.
That decision means Dakota Thornton, who was 15 when he pulled the trigger, could serve as little as 7 1/2 years or as much as 45 years behind bars for murdering his brother Dominick in their Williams Township home.
The killing occurred at 2 a..m. last March 30 when Dakota Thornton shot his brother with a .410- gauge shotgun in an apartment on Autumn Drive. Police said the younger boy committed the slaying because he was romantically interested in his brother’s girlfriend.
Wednesday’s guilty plea hearing before Dauphin County Judge Deborah E. Curcillo took less than 10 minutes.
Under the deal outlined by First Assistant District Attorney Fran Chardo, Dakota Thornton has no agreement regarding the length of the prison sentence he must receive. That call will be up to Curcillo, who scheduled sentencing for June.
Dakota Thornton, a skinny kid with a shaved head, answered, “Yes, sir,” crisply when Chardo asked if he was accepting a plea agreement, which defense attorney Wendy Grella lauded as compassionate.
Factors that Curcillo will consider in fashioning a penalty include Dakota Thornton’s juvenile criminal record, which Chardo said includes consent agreements or adjudications for charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, making terroristic threats and possessing a weapon on school property. The first of those offenses occurred in 2012, the prosecutor said.
By accepting Chardo’s plea deal, Dakota Thornton scrapped a request to Curcillo to send his case to juvenile court. He was charged with murder as an adult right after his arrest. Had his case gone to juvenile court, he could not have received a sentence that would have kept him incarcerated beyond his 21st birthday.
After Dakota Thornton accepted the plea deal, Grella asked Curcillo to sentence him as soon as possible. “My client is anxious to start serving his sentence,” she said.
Chardo said the plea agreement was fashioned in consultation Dakota Thornton’s family.
“I think Mr. Chardo gave a lot of time and appropriate consideration of the factors in this case,” Grella said following the hearing.
She said factors that will weigh into her client’s sentence will include his mental health issues, that he was the victim of abuse while in foster care, and that “his meds weren’t given to him” on the day of the slaying.
Grella said the plan to try to move the case to juvenile court was dropped because of doubt that Curcillo would accept an arrangement that would free Dakota Thornton from prison without supervision so soon.
“This,” she said of the plea agreement, “is an appropriate resolution for the entire family.”
A sibling rivalry turned deadly after a lovesick Pennsylvania teen killed his older brother in a fight over a girlfriend.
“They were both interested in the same girl,” District Attorney Ed Marsico said about the brother’s killing, PennLive reported.
Dakota Thornton, 15, blasted his 18-year-old brother Dominick with a shotgun early Wednesday morning after longing for the older sibling’s girlfriend, police said.
After Pennsylvania State Police arrived at the 2 a.m. shooting, the heartbroken sibling put his hands up and admitted, “I shot my brother,” according to records.
Dakota confessed that he loaded up the shotgun just two minutes before the deadly shooting at the Dauphin County home, and told troopers he did it because he was romantically interested in his brother’s girlfriend, ABC27 reported.
“It’s very shocking,” a neighbor told the local station. “I just saw Dominick outside yesterday. Just to know he’s dead now — I actually watched them carry him outside in a body bag. It’s not usual around here at all.”
The 15-year-old accused killer is being charged with homicide as an adult, and held without bail.
His first court appearance is scheduled for April 6