(Pa Dept. of Corrections)
Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett today signed an execution warrant for Hubert L. Michael, Jr., who pled guilty in October 1994 to Kidnapping and First Degree Murder for the shooting death of 16-year-old Trista Eng.
Michael is incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Greene and his execution has been scheduled for September 22, 2014. The execution warrant signed today for Michael was Governor Corbett’s 35th warrant signed since taking office.
This is the fourth execution warrant signed for Michael. Governor Tom Ridge signed Michael’s first execution warrant on July 31, 1996, Governor Ed Rendell signed Michael’s second execution warrant on April 5, 2004, and Governor Corbett signed Michael’s third execution warrant on September 11, 2012. The three prior warrants were dissolved as a result of the issuance of stays pending Michael’s numerous appeals. The appeals were ultimately denied by the courts.
“I would urge all of us to keep Trisha Eng’s family in our thoughts and prayers,’’ Corbett said. “For more than 20 years the Eng family has had to deal with the results of his abhorrent behavior every day of their lives. It is my hope that today’s action will support the Eng family in taking the next step to put this painful journey behind them.’’
Executions in Pennsylvania are carried out by lethal injection. For more information, visit the Department of Corrections online at www.cor.state.pa.us and select “Death Penalty’’ from the left-side navigation bar.
Michael, now 57, was sentenced to death on March 20, 1995 in the York County Court of Common Pleas.
On July 12, 1993, Trista Eng was walking along Route 15 in York County from her home to her summer job at a Dillsburg restaurant. Michael stopped and offered Miss Eng a ride to work, which she accepted.
Michael then drove to state game lands in Warrington Township, York County, where he shot Miss Eng three times and hid her body in the woods.
Ten days later, Michael fled the state in a rented car. At that time, Michael was out on bail for an unrelated rape charge in Lancaster County. The car was listed as stolen and entered into the National Crime Information Center system.
On July 27, 1993, Michael was arrested in Utah as a fugitive from justice. The murder weapon was found in the car at the time of his arrest. Michael was returned to Pennsylvania and incarcerated in Lancaster County Prison to await trial on the rape charge.
Michael’s brother visited him in prison the following month, where Michael confessed to him that he had used the gun to kill Miss Eng and that he had hidden the girl’s body in the state game lands. Based on that information, Michael’s brother and other relatives searched the game lands until they found the teenager’s decomposed body still dressed in her restaurant uniform. Michael’s explanation for the murder was that he was under so much pressure from the rape charge, he “just lost it.”
Police charged Michael with Trista Eng’s murder on Aug. 27, 1993.
In November 1993, Michael assumed the identity of another prisoner and escaped from Lancaster County Prison. He was later captured in New Orleans and returned to Pennsylvania in March 1994 to face rape, murder and other charges.