Nearly two years ago, then 18-year-old John Mullarkey Jr. of Monroeville was feeling depressed when he visited his girlfriend to talk about their relationship. Demi Cuccia, a popular Gateway High School cheerleader had just turned 16 the day before. She was looking for a change.
Angry words were exchanged. John Mullarkey pulled out a 3.5-inch pocket knife and wounded Demi Cuccia 16 times. The only question was whether the murder was premeditated.
During the recent trial, John Mullarkey's defense implicated the acne drug Accutane as an unindicted co-conspirator. The defense argued that Mr. Mullarkey's behavior was exacerbated by the drug. The jury disagreed and convicted him of first-degree murder. He will serve a life sentence. The jury opted to hold the killer responsible and not an acne drug -- and that's a victory for common sense.