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Press Release

Federal Prison Inmate Charged With Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

WILLIAMSPORT - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Jose Hernandez-Vasquez, age 57, an inmate at the United States Penitentiary Lewisburg, was indicted by a federal grand jury for first-degree murder.


According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the charges stem from an incident at the United States Penitentiary Lewisburg in October 2015, in which Hernandez-Vasquez allegedly strangled his cellmate with a bedsheet.


The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Prisons Special Investigative Service. Assistant United States Attorney Geoffrey W. MacArthur is prosecuting the case.


Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.


A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statues and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.


The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is the death penalty or life in prison and a fine of $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not necessarily an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.



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Updated May 25, 2017

Violent Crime