Trial Begins For Illegal Immigrant Accused In Canonsburg Stabbing Death

Police Say Man Stabbed Migrant Worker 38 Times

March 1, 2011

The non-jury trial is set to begin for an illegal immigrant accused of fatally stabbing a fellow laborer in Washington County.

Jose Herrera-Luciano, 31,of Mexico, is charged with first-degree murder in the 2010 stabbing death of 26-year-old Jose Medina, a Honduran day worker.

Authorities said Medina's body was found Feb. 28 along railroad tracks, and that he had been stabbed 38 times.

Washington County prosecutors said both men lived in a Canonsburg apartment building, as did 25-year-old Samuel Juarez Cruz, who pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and conspiracy last month. He was sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison. Herrera-Luciano declined a similar offer from prosecutors and previously denied taking part in the slaying. Cruz told investigators Herrera-Luciano stabbed Medina while he held the victim.

Friends told Channel 4 Action News that Medina had lived in Washington County for about six months and worked in construction, hoping to send money back to his family in Honduras.

The trial will take place in front of Washington County Judge Katherine Emery.