WILKES-BARRE - A onetime hitchhiker will spend life in prison for killing a Montgomery County man who picked him up nearly 30 years ago in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Luzerne County jurors on Thursday could not agree unanimously on the death penalty for James Strong. That means he will serve life without parole.

Strong, 59, was convicted last month of first-degree murder in the August 1983 shotgun slaying of John Strock of Glenside along I-81 in Dorrance Township.

Strong was convicted in 1984 and sentenced to death. But the state Supreme Court granted him a new trial because prosecutors failed to disclose an agreement with a codefendant. - AP