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Life Term In Murder Contested; Culture Cited On Age

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - A man convicted of a Pennsylvania murder is challenging his life sentence on the grounds that he believes he was a minor at the time of the crime because the age of children is calculated differently in his birth country.

Forty-five-year-old Todd Hyung-Rae Tarselli has been serving life in the killing of 17-year-old Mark Bunchalk during a 1992 robbery at a Hazleton fast-food restaurant.

The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens' Voice reports that Tarselli said in Luzerne County Court on Wednesday that he believed he was 17 rather than 18 because he was adopted at a young age from South Korea and age is calculated differently there.

He acknowledged under cross-examination that he has known about the difference since at least 1998 but took no legal action. The judge didn't rule immediately.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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