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Homicide conviction overturned, 20 - 40 year sentence vacated, New Trial Awarded

HOMICIDE conviction VACATED, New Trial awarded.

In 2018, Harvey Detterline was charged with Homicide and related offenses for the August 2018 stabbing death of Richard Hicks. Both Mr. Detterline and Mr. Hicks had been residing with Britney Dilley and both men had a relationship with Dilley. On August 16, 2018, Hicks was kicked out of the apartment by Dilley, the leaseholder.

After a day of fighting between Hicks and Dilley, an angry, hysterical anintoxicated Hicks climbed the fence outside the two-story apartment and broke into a top-floor window leading directly into Mr. Detterline’s bedroom. Hicks rushed Detterline and physically attacked him and Mr. Detterline pulled a knife to defend himself. In his attempt to defend himself, he stabbed Hicks causing his death. Mr. Detterline was charged with Homicide and related offenses.

Mr. Detterline maintained he acted in self-defense. Following a two-day trial, Mr. Detterline 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 Dilley and Hicks 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 Mr. Detterline’s conviction for Third-Degree Murder, awarding him a new trial. The Commonwealth did not appeal.

Mr. Detterline had previously been serving a sentence of 20 – 40 years following trial and has been in prison for almost three years. Mr. Detterline will

Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said, “We believed Mr. Detterline acted in justifiable self-defense and would not stop until his wrongful conviction was vacated. We look forward to representing him at his new trial where all of the evidence in Mr. Detterline’s favor will be presented to a jury in a competent and thorough defense. We are confident he was justified in his behavior.”


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