WILLIAMSPORT - A jury set to hear testimony Monday in the attempted homicide case against Lawrence D. Travers Jr. was sent home before the trial even started.
Travers changed his mind about going through with the trial and pleaded guilty to all 12 counts leveled against him.Travers, 24, admitted to stabbing Kevin Houseknect at least three times in the neck in a drug deal gone bad last June 17 - the same day he was placed on probation for a previous incident of simple assault.
The two were in search of another person from whom to purchase drugs in the city. After realizing Houseknect had several thousands of dollars on him, Travers attacked him, according to evidence provided by Aaron S. Biichle, assistant district attorney.
After his arrest, Travers admitted to police that he wanted to "rip off" Houseknect and provide baking soda instead of cocaine.
Biichle told Judge Nancy L. Butts Travers and Houseknect struggled for the envelope containing cash while in the vehicle. Travers, the passenger, proceeded to stab Houseknect three times in the neck. Biichle added that a witness called 911 after seeing Travers stab Houseknect several more times on the ground in the 1900 block of Glynn Avenue.
In court, Butts repeatedly asked Travers if he wanted to forgo his right to a jury trial. Shaking his head frequently and sighing, Travers said he did.
"A lot of the things in this case I didn't do," he told the judge. "I just want to go home to my kids. I'm taking full responsibility."
Travers also told Butts he was upset that forensic evidence showing there were no fingerprints on the knife used to attack Houseknect. Additionally, he claimed some testimony in his preliminary hearing that would have supported his case did not show up on the record.
Travers' guilty plea included charges of attempted homicide, robbery, aggravated assault, theft, simple assault, receiving stolen property, possession of an instrument of crime and tampering with evidence.
Butts said Travers faces a maximum of 40 years in prison and/or $25,000 fine for the attempted homicide charge alone.
Travers will be sentenced July 24.