Ashland man gets prison for attempted murder
POTTSVILLE — Harold J. McGurl Jr. is headed to state prison after a Schuylkill County judge sentenced him on Wednesday for trying to kill another man in October 2016 in his hometown.
McGurl, 45, of Ashland, must serve 10 to 20 years in a state correctional institution, Judge Jacqueline L. Russell decided.
“There’s a great need for rehabilitation for the protection of society,” Russell said. “This is a violent offense.”
After a two-day trial over which Russell presided, a jury of nine men and three women convicted McGurl on April 3 of attempted first-degree murder, recklessly endangering another person and two counts each of aggravated assault and simple assault.
State police at Frackville alleged McGurl stabbed and slashed Jordan Adams with a knife in the early morning hours of Oct. 8, 2016, on Spruce Street in Ashland. Adams testified during the trial that he suffered 10 to 12 stab wounds and was taken to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, for emergency surgery.
Prosecutors also maintained that McGurl was upset with Adams’ brother, Shane Parker, and attacked Adams after seeing him in Parker’s car. They also said he fled the scene by running into the woods after assaulting Adams.
McGurl, who wore a prison jumpsuit, leg shackles, handcuffs and a belt during Wednesday’s 25-minute hearing, expressed remorse for what he had done.
“I’d like to apologize to everybody,” he said. “I’ve never had a violent offense in my life.”
However, Russell said the latter statement does not give a full picture of McGurl’s past.
“You have a quite extensive criminal record,” she told the defendant. “You have some felonies in your record.”
Furthermore, Russell said, the evidence showed McGurl assaulted Adams without provocation and used a deadly weapon against him. “I don’t see” mitigation, she said. Jeffrey M. Markosky, Mahanoy City, McGurl’s lawyer, said he would talk with his client before deciding whether to file an appeal. Otherwise, he declined to comment on the sentence or any other aspect of the case.
In addition to the prison term, Russell also sentenced McGurl to pay costs, $50 to the Criminal Justice Enhancement Account and $76,363.63 restitution to Aetna Insurance Co., undergo drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations, have no contact with Adams and submit a DNA sample to law enforcement authorities.
Harold J. McGurl Jr., left, Ashland, is escorted April 2 into the Schuylkill County Courthouse by Sheriff Deputy Gerard Daley for McCurl’s trial for trying to kill Jordan Adams on Oct. 8, 2016, in Ashland.