George Trudel is a G.E.D. recipient and college graduate, who in 2012 earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Villanova University, Magna Cum Laude, while in prison serving a second-degree murder.
Currently, he is an inmate at the State Correctional Institute – Graterford, serving his 30th year of a life without parole sentence for his involvement in a murder that he did not actually commit.
On the night of November 14, 1986, 20-year-old George Trudel and his friend Robert Barrett were hanging out at a party in Frankford. Robert left the party to go on a cigarette run, but soon after, George heard his friend shouting outside. He rushed out of the party to find Robert arguing with a neighborhood man they knew. Not long after the argument started, a knife fell from the man’s pocket; and George picked it up. George cannot completely recall what happened next, but according to him, his friend had stabbed the man with the knife, and they ran. They later learned that the man’s wound had been fatal.
Robert was later arrested and put on trial for the third-degree murder of Casimir “Kaz” Barowiec. According to George, Robert and his family begged him to get rid of the knife and lie on the stand at Robert’s trial, which he did. At the time, he did not know that trying to help his friend and his family, would cost him his own life, in the form of his freedom.
December 1988, George was convicted of second-degree murder for his role in the crime. At the age of 51, George has been in prison for 30 years, despite the actual murderer, Robert Barrett, only serving seven years in prison and being released.
Throughout his time in prison, George has worked hard to become a model inmate. Since earning his degree in 2012, George has received academic and community support, with recommendations for clemency by highly respected Professors from Villanova University and West Chester University.
George says that when he thinks about his role in what happened on that fateful night, he never thought about the damage he had done to the victim’s family and his own, hurting people who hadn’t even been born yet, such as his daughter and grandchildren.
George desperately wants to prove that he has been completely rehabilitated and can be a positive impact in our society. He longs to spend the rest of his natural life with his family, instead of behind bars, where his fate currently seems sealed.