Governor commutes sentence of prize-winning author's brother
Robert Wideman, right, with his sister Laticia El and his niece, who has since passed away. (Courtesy of Laticia El)
(Harrisburg) — Gov. Tom Wolf has commuted the sentence of the brother of prize-winning author John Edgar Wideman in a 1975 killing, clearing the way for his release.
Sixty-eight-year-old Robert Wideman was sentenced to life without parole in a case that was the subject of his older brother’s 1984 acclaimed memoir “Brothers and Keepers.” The book was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle award.
Wideman was convicted in a 1975 robbery that resulted in the shooting death of car salesman Nichola Morena, although he was not the gunman. The state Board of Pardons earlier this year recommended clemency.
Wolf on Monday cited the board’s finding that Wideman had used his prison time productively and “exhibits great remorse for the victim.”
Defense attorney Mark Schwartz said his client is “elated.”