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Lancaster Online urges:
Justice for Jonathan Luna
Newspaper near murder scene publishes passionate editorial:
'If only they spent as much time investigating his death
as they did smearing his reputation'
The Lancaster, PA, Intelligencer Journal and New Era on December 15, 2013, published one of the best summations of the Luna case we've yet seen.
Read the editorial below, or visit the Lancaster Online website:
We pleaded for it seven years ago. Today, 10 years after the federal prosecutor's body was found in a Brecknock Township stream, justice is just as elusive as it was when he died.
Why can't an assistant U.S. attorney, an enforcer of the law, get justice?
Luna several years before his death. For more Luna photos click here.
It's the puzzling question that plagues anyone who's delved into the curious case of Jonathan Luna. That question should haunt Mr. Luna's fellow law enforcers — who ought to be the ones most concerned with justice.
Mr. Luna, 38, was in his office in the federal courthouse in Baltimore on the evening of Dec. 3, 2003. He was drafting plea agreements for two accused heroin dealers, one of whom was implicated in the murder of a man who broke into the dealers' stash house.
At 11:38 p.m., Mr. Luna apparently left his office — without his glasses or his cell phone — got into his car and started driving, through Maryland into Delaware, from Delaware into New Jersey and finally onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
He ended up in a shallow stream alongside the Sensenig & Weaver well drilling firm in Brecknock Township, not far from the emergency access gate to the Turnpike, his body covered with 36 stab wounds — some shallow, some deep. At 5:30 a.m. Dec. 4, a Sensenig & Weaver employee found Luna's Honda hanging over the creek bank, a pool of blood on the floor of the back seat, and Mr. Luna face down in the water.
A mortician in Baltimore who prepared his body said his hands were shredded by what appeared to be defensive injuries and that he had been stabbed several times in the back. County Coroner Dr. Barry Walp concluded that Mr. Luna had drowned and ruled the death a homicide.
That's when this already-curious case got curiouser and curiouser.
Anonymous sources began leaking reports designed to discredit Mr. Luna: that the married father of two had been posting on Internet dating sites; that he was in financial trouble; that he might be involved in the disappearance of $36,000 from the trial of Baltimore bank robber Nacoe Brown.
Where did the leaks come from? Federal sources, according to media reports on the allegations. From Jonathan Luna's fellow law enforcers.
If only they spent as much time investigating his death as they did in smearing his reputation.
Then there were the attempts by FBI agents to convince Dr. Walp's successor, Dr. G. Gary Kirchner, to switch the verdict on Mr. Luna's death from homicide to suicide. Dr. Kirchner refused to change the ruling. Dr. Kirchner's successor, Dr. Steven Diamantoni, recently reaffirmed his predecessors' conclusion.
Why try to reverse the verdict? More anonymous sources were floating suggestions that Mr. Luna wasn't killed — he either committed suicide or staged a suicide attempt that went too far. All those stab wounds? "Hesitation" injuries, according to the leakers.
Federal authorities didn't succeed in solving the curious case of Jonathan Luna. They have, 10 years later, apparently succeeded in burying the case.
When other AUSAs were killed, the feds put on a full-court press to find the killers. When Mr. Luna was killed — as three Lancaster County coroners concluded — the feds sat on the bench.
We'd like to know why. We'd like to know why the FBI didn't try harder to solve the mysterious death of a federal prosecutor. We'd like to know why there wasn't more outrage from Mr. Luna's colleagues in the Baltimore U.S. attorney's office. We'd like to know why Mr. Luna seemingly dropped everything he was doing at 11:38 p.m. Dec. 3 and left his office without the glasses he needed to drive. We'd like to know why and how he wound up in Brecknock Township, after a bizarre 4-1/2-hour odyssey. We'd like to know why some feds want the public to believe that Jonathan Luna stabbed himself 36 times — in the back, as well.
We'd like to know the truth. And we'd like justice for Jonathan Luna.
To learn more visit the Luna page
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