23 April 2019 :
A Bucks County jury sentence Jacob Sullivan, 46, White, to death for raping and killing his girlfriend's 14-year-old adopted daughter Grace Packer in 2016. Sullivan had pleaded guilty to 1st-degree murder and related charges. Bucks County Judge Diane Gibbons formally imposed the death penalty during a sentencing hearing late Thursday morning. Pennsylvania has a moratorium on the death penalty, but juries can still impose the sentence. The defense asked for a life sentence, insisting that Grace’s mother, Sara Packer, masterminded the gruesome plot and controlled Sullivan. Sara Packer, who testified last week and admitted to jurors she wanted her daughter dead and took part in the plot, is expected to plead guilty Friday to first-degree murder in exchange for a life sentence. Sullivan and Sara Packer took Grace to a sweltering attic and gave her what they intended to be a lethal overdose of medicine, authorities say. The couple bound her hands and feet with zip ties and stuffed a ball gag in her mouth, and Sullivan sexually assaulted her as Sara Packer watched. The couple left Grace in the attic to die, but she managed to escape some of her bindings and spit the gag out, prosecutors say. Sullivan and Sara Packer returned to the vacant house 12 hours later, and Sullivan strangled her. Sara Packer and Sullivan stored Grace’s body in cat litter for months, then hacked it up and dumped it in a remote area where hunters found it in October 2016, authorities said.Sara Packer and her husband at the time, David Packer, adopted Grace and Grace’s younger brother in 2007. The couple cared for dozens of foster children before David Packer was sent to prison for sexually assaulting Grace and a 15-year-old foster daughter. Sara Packer lost her job as a Northampton County adoptions supervisor in 2010 and was barred from taking in any more foster children. But child welfare authorities did not remove Grace from the home, despite evidence of abuse. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services launched an investigation after Grace’s murder, but its findings have not been made public.