HOMICIDE conviction VACATED New Trial awarded

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In 2018, Client was charged with Homicide and related offenses for an August 2018 stabbing death of a former roommate. Both Client and the former roommate had been residing with a woman they were both romatically involved with. On August 16, 2018, the roomate was kicked out of the apartment by the female.

After a day of fighting between the female and the roomate, while angry, jealous, hysterical and intoxicated the former roommate climbed the fence outside the two-story apartment and broke into a top-floor window leading directly into Client’s bedroom. The former roommate rushed our Client and physically attacked him. Our client pulled a knife to defend himself. In his attempt to defend himself, he stabbed the former roommate, causing his death. Our client was charged with Homicide and related offenses.

Our Client maintained he acted in self-defense. Following a two-day trial where he was represented by a different lawyer, Client was convicted of Third Degree Murder and sentenced to 20 – 40 years. The Shaw Law Group reviewed his Trial Transcript and believed Mr. Detterline was convicted due to ineffective representation by his counsel. The Shaw Law Group filed a PCRA seeking vacation of his conviction and sentence and a new trial, alleging his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to an erroneous jury instruction, failing to impeach the only eyewitness with criminal convictions and her intoxication the night of the stabbing due to her alcohol, marijuana and methamphetamine use, and failing to call a toxicologist to establish the intoxication of both the female and the former roommate at the time of the incident.

On May 12, 2022, following multiple PCRA proceedings spanning months, the Court ruled in the Shaw Law Group’s favor on every issue and vacated Client’s conviction for Third-Degree Murder, awarding him a new trial. The Commonwealth did not appeal. Our Client had previously been serving a sentence of 20 – 40 years following trial and has been in prison for almost three years. Upon vacation of his sentence, the Shaw Law Group was able to convince the Court to grant bail and allow him to be released until his retrial. See the Trial Court Opinion here. 

We believed our Client acted in justifiable self-defense and would not stop until his coviction was vacated. We look forward to representing him at his new trial where all of the evidence in our Client’s favor will be presented to a jury in a competent and thorough defense. We are confident he was justified in his behavior and the jury will agree.


*Because every case is different, the description of awards and cases previously handled do not guarantee a similar outcome in current or future cases and may be atypical.

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