Trucker sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty in knife attacks on 2 Pa. women

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former trucker already facing decades in prison for random knife attacks on women in New Jersey and Massachusetts was sentenced Monday to spend the rest of his life behind bars for a pair of similar attacks in Pennsylvania.

Under a deal that spared him from Pennsylvania's death penalty, Adam Leroy Lane pleaded guilty to murder and other charges for the July 13, 2007, stabbing murder of Darlene Ewalt outside her Harrisburg-area home and attempted murder for the slashing of another women while she slept in her home north of York.

Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover sentenced Lane, 45, to life imprisonment for Ewalt's death and a consecutive term of 10 to 20 years for the other case.

Hoover told Lane he "will be fed, clothed and housed by the Department of Corrections" for the rest of his life.

The Pennsylvania attacks were the first of four that Lane committed during a 17-day period in July 2007.

In all four cases, prosecutors say the former North Carolina man picked his victims at random and attacked them at their homes near interstate highways that he traveled.

"It's everybody's worst nightmare," said Fran Chardo, the Dauphin County first assistant district attorney.

Lane stabbed Ewalt, 42, while she talked on the phone to a friend outside her suburban Harrisburg home around 2 a.m. on July 13, 2007, while her husband and son slept inside.

Four days later, about 25 miles south of Ewalt's home, 37-year-old Patricia Brooks told police she was sleeping on a couch when she awoke at 2 a.m. to a black-clad man driving a knife blade into her shoulder. Lane slashed her neck and fled when Brooks screamed and sat up, police said.

Members of Ewalt's family addressed the judge prior to sentencing with a mixture of sadness and anger.

Todd Ewalt, whom state police initially questioned as a suspect in his wife's death, said it was the result of "an unnecessary, senseless act committed by a coward."

Lane, wearing handcuffs and orange-and-white prison garb, showed no emotion and waived his right to speak.

"I haven't got anything to say," he said.

Ewalt's 25-year-old son, Nick, asked the judge to review the investigation and to sentence his mother's killer to death.

"I just want him dead," he told reporters on his way out of the courthouse.

District Attorney Edward Marsico said one reason prosecutors agreed to the plea and did not seek the death penalty in Lane's case was that executions rarely occur in Pennsylvania.

Lane had previously pleaded guilty in the murder of a New Jersey woman and an attack on a 15-year-old Massachusetts girl that was interrupted by her father, who held Lane in a headlock until police arrived and arrested him on July 30.

Lane was serving a 25- to 30-year prison term for the Massachusetts attack when he was sentenced to a consecutive 50 years in prison for the murder of 38-year-old Monica Massaro at her Bloomsbury, N.J., home.

Marsico said Lane is expected to remain in Pennsylvania's prison system.

Police in Jonesville, N.C., Lane's hometown, have said they wanted to question him in the 1996 shooting death of an officer who was found next to his cruiser after pulling over a pickup truck that had been reported stolen. But police Chief Roger Reece said Monday he did not know how soon that may happen.

"There's nothing other than he resembles a composite drawing (of the suspect) in our case," he said.