Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman voted to free a murderer who killed someone with garden shears and hired a hitman to kill his accomplice.
The shocking story, reported by the Washington Free Beacon, explains that Fetterman voted to free the criminal in 2019 when he was lieutenant governor.
Charles Goldblum was sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of killing a man with a pair of garden shears in a Pittsburgh parking garage. Goldblum also hired a hitman to kill his accomplice, a key witness to the crime.
The killing, which was part of an insurance fraud coverup, occurred in 1976, when Goldblum and his accomplice Clarence Miller lured their victim, George Wilhelm, into a parking garage. Once in the garage, Goldblum proceeded to stab Wilhelm 26 times. When he was out on bail, Goldblum attempted to hire a hitman to kill Miller.
Goldblum, who has maintained his innocence, was facing death in prison after making seven unsuccessful clemency appeals. But in 2019, against the desires of Wilhelm’s family, Pennsylvania’s Board of Pardons—which Fetterman chairs—voted overwhelmingly to free Goldblum from prison.
The board argued in favor of the decision, saying that the prosecutor and judge concluded that Goldblum was not the main assailant but rather an accomplice. In 2007, however, a federal appeals court wrote “there is just too much evidence here establishing Goldblum’s guilt” when they declined a request from Goldblum for an evidentiary hearing. Meanwhile, no one has disputed that Goldblum attempted to hire a hitman.
Goldblum was released from prison last year, prompting Fetterman to remark that he was “happy that he’s going to be going home to his family.” He also claimed that Goldblum was “not a threat to public safety.”
The commutation of Goldblum’s sentence was one component of Fetterman’s promise to free more prisoners and transform the state’s pardon process.
Fetterman campaign spokesman Joe Calvello told the Washington Free Beacon “Goldblum was wrongfully convicted and that is why John, along with every other member of the Board of Pardons, voted to recommend clemency.”
When he was awaiting trial, Goldblum plotted to get Miller killed, as he was expected to testify against Goldblum according to a 1976 report for the Pittsburgh Press. The convicted murderer agreed to pay an undercover detective $2,000 to kill Miller.
Wilhelm’s niece Sandra Horton told the Pennsylvania Capital Star “We thought [his life sentence] would be just that—a life sentence without the possibility of parole, and that he would be made to accept his role in George’s brutal death.”
Goldblum is not the only criminal that Fetterman has voted to release. Last year the Senate hopeful voted to release Wayne Covington, who pled guilty to killing a man for money so that he could buy heroin.