SCRANTON - A man accused of fatally bludgeoning three people in a home over the summer has been held for trial in the slayings.
A magisterial district judge ruled there was enough evidence against Randal Rushing, 25, to hold him for trial on more than a dozen counts, including murder and kidnapping charges. Rushing has been held without bail since his arrest in Wilkes-Barre shortly after the killings.
Police responding to a 911 call found the victims in a south Scranton home around 7 a.m. July 17. They were identified as Justin Berrios, 21; Dustin Hintz, 22; and Leslie Collier, 16. Four others, including Rushing's former girlfriend and a young boy, were found in the house unharmed; authorities said at least some of the survivors had been bound.
After his arrest, Rushing, of Scranton, blew a kiss at reporters and said, "I had fun."
Police initially said the victims had been shot. But after an autopsy, authorities said Rushing - whose first name has also been spelled Randall - used a knife and a hammer.
Defense attorney Paul Ackourey said his client may have mental-health problems.
"His behavior that morning was totally out of character," Ackourey said, adding that Rushing had no prior criminal record. "The aggressiveness of the attack, the strange things he said, it all points to possible mental-health problems."
First Assistant District Attorney Gene Talerico said his office had not decided whether to seek the death penalty.
Scranton is about 100 miles north of Philadelphia. *