Brothers resentenced to 60 years to life in 1995 slayings of parents, younger brother

EASTON, Pa. (AP) — Two Pennsylvania brothers sentenced to life in the slayings of their parents and younger brother almost three decades ago have been resentenced to terms that may offer them a chance at parole.

A Lehigh County judge on Wednesday sentenced 46-year-old Bryan Freeman and 45-year-old David Freeman to terms of 60 years to life. Both have served just under three decades in prison for their murder convictions and would be in their 70s before they would be eligible for parole.

Bryan Freeman wept as he expressed remorse and took responsibility for what he called “a terrible crime,” The (Allentown) Morning Call reported. “Everyone deserves to live a safe, happy life free of violence and pain and I took that away from my family and my community. ... I would give anything to have my family back and take away all the trauma,” he said.

He also said his religious faith gave him the belief that he would "be able to see my family again and apologize to them and beg their forgiveness.” David Freeman’s attorney, Matthew Rapa, argued that his client was acting under his brother’s orders.

Bryan and David were 17 and 16, respectively, and authorities said they were affiliated with a white supremacist skinhead movement at the time of the February 1995 slayings of Dennis and Brenda Freeman and 11-year-old Erik Freeman in Salisbury Township. They and an accomplice fled to Michigan, where they were captured three days later.

A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling barring life without parole terms for juveniles has resulted in resentencing hearings in such cases.

The Morning Call reported that a defense psychiatrist testified about troubling circumstances during their upbringing that she said helped lead to drinking and drug problems. Another psychiatrist called by prosecutors, however, said some of the language used by the brothers during their assessments seemed designed to minimize their culpability.