U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE RECOMMENDS NEW TRIAL FOR CHAMBERSBURG-AREA MAN CONVICTED OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN 2001.
By costopoulos21214723, Jul 30 2018 07:07PM
On July 17, 2018, U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine Mihalchick, upon considering Ronald Harshman's habeas corpus petition, has recommended that his Franklin County, PA first-degree murder conviction and life sentence be vacated and he be granted a new trial. She concluded that the District Attorney's Office failed to disclose evidence of a secret "deal" granted to its main jailhouse informant who testified at trial that Mr. Harshman essentially confessed the murder to him in the county prison. The Brady Doctrine, enunciated by the U.S. Supreme Court, requires the prosecution to disclose such favorable treatment to the defense before trial in order that the jury may consider it in weighing the witness's testimony against the defendant. The District Attorney's Office is anticipated to challenge this ruling before U.S. Chief Judge Christopher Conner, who will make the final decision. Congrats to Attorney Dave Foster on this result! Here is a link to Magistrate Judge Mihalchick's report and recommendation:
And this is a link to the Chambersburg Public Opinion newspaper's story on this development: