Life sentence for Briggs



A 28-year-old Susquehanna County woman will spend the remainder of her life behind bars for the February 2015 murder of Roy Marvin in Great Bend Twp.
Sarah Briggs was sentenced Monday, Dec. 5, to life in prison without parole in the Susquehanna County Court of Common Pleas.
Following a three-day trial in November, a jury delivered a first degree murder verdict.
The jury also returned guilty verdicts on a count of robbery, a count of criminal conspiracy to commit murder, and criminal conspiracy robbery related to the stabbing death of Marvin on Harmony Road.
She countered testimony given by her former boyfriend and co-defendant in the case, Jerry Mast. Mast pleaded guilty to third degree murder in December 2015. He has not yet been sentenced.
In testimony during the trial, Briggs maintained her innocence in the murder, but said said she felt guilt for Marvin’s death. “Not because I did it,” she claimed, “but because my actions led up to it.”
Briggs’ former boyfriend and co-defendant, Jerry Mast, pleaded guilty to third degree murder and a felony robbery count in December 2015. He took the stand during the trial, offering testimony for prosecution.
Mast is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 14.
On the stand, Mast admitted that he stabbed Marvin first with his folding pocket knife, while the three were sitting in Marvin’s vehicle, hitting the victim in the right side of his head at his temple.
He said Briggs then took a kitchen knife from her purse and stabbed Marvin in the chest. He told the court that Briggs had taken that knife from her sister’s home the morning of the murder.
Mast told the court that both he and Briggs participated in the attack outside of the vehicle, with Briggs running behind Marvin and stabbing him multiple times in his back, including one cut he said went deep into Marvin’s right shoulder.
In total, Marvin sustained 29 stab wounds that led to his death, according to testimony provided in court by Forensic Pathologist Dr. Gary Ross, of the Northeast Forensic Center in Dunmore. Dr. Ross conducted the autopsy of Marvin’s body.
Dr. Ross, along with others, offered expert testimony on the stand, noting Marvin had sustained multiple stab wounds to his head, chest and defense wounds on his extremities.
The wounds to his head penetrated the soft tissue but not the skull, he told the court. However, some of those wounds caused a significant amount of bleeding.
But some of the knife wounds in Marvin’s chest went deeper, puncturing all five lobes of his lungs, and hitting his heart.
“All the stab wounds caused bleeding,” Dr. Ross said, “Each contributed to bleeding; each contributed to his death.”
He told the court it would have taken several minutes for Marvin to succumb to the blood loss; and any or all of the wounds, he said, could have been made with either the folding pocketknife or the kitchen knife.
Senior Judge J. Michael Williamson, of Clinton County, is specially presiding over the case.

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