Late Wednesday evening, a Monroe County jury convicted Michael Brady Owens (aka HOLLOW), 31, of Scotrun, in the 2016 murder of Demetrio Hughes. Owens’ co-conspirator in the murder, Randy Criste-Troutman (aka NAPA), 32, of Paradise Township, had previously pled guilty to homicide charges and is awaiting sentencing.
On March 16, 2016, the burnt remains of Mr. Hughes, then 25 years old, were found on the on state game lands near the McMichaels Hunting Club property on Jackson Road in Jackson Township. Mr. Hughes had been shot in the back of the head.
A joint investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police, the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney, and the Monroe County Office of the Coroner, with the assistance of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, revealed that Mr. Hughes was lured to the location under the guise of the trio committing a burglary on February 18, 2016. Once in the woods, Mr. Hughes was executed by Owens and Criste-Troutman.
The following day, February 19, both Owens and Criste-Troutman returned to the location of the murder and burned Mr. Hughes’ remains.
Several weeks later, on March 9, Criste-Troutman was arrested by the South Abington Township Police Department in Lackawanna County following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. At the time, Criste-Troutman was found to be in possession of heroin and a Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun. That gun was later determined to be the murder weapon used to kill Mr. Hughes.
The jury listened to five days of witness testimony, including the testimony of Criste-Troutman recounting the events surrounding Mr. Hughes’ murder. The case was prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bernal. After several hours of deliberation the jury convicted Owens on all charges which include Murder in the First Degree, Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence, Abuse of Corpse, and Conspiracy.
Mr. Owens faces an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole as a result of his first degree murder conviction. Formal sentencing is scheduled before the Honorable Margherita Patti-Worthington, President Judge, on November 18, 2021.