Convicted killer goes for retrial
The presiding judge heard a retrial motion by a convicted murderer’s defense attorney Monday, citing evidence that wasn’t made available in earlier hearings.
Joseph S. Coleman III, 38, who was found guilty in the double homicide of Shane Wright, 27, and his mother, Kristine Kibler, 50, at their home on Poplar Street, awaits sentencing.
As part of the newer charges — stemming from the Aug. 30, 2016, murder of Christopher Wilkins, 27, on Park Avenue, it came to light that Ronald R. Shoop Jr., 30, of Jersey Shore was interviewed by police. That evidence was withheld from the defense during the trial for Oct. 31, 2016 murders, said Jeana A. Longo, defense attorney.
Shoop faces his own trial in the alleged Oct. 2016 burglarizing of as many as six homes in Anthony, Cascade, Gamble and Pine townships.
In Shoop’s testimony, Longo said he provided information regarding the disposal of the gun, what transpired in the Poplar Street home, and which gun was used in the murders.
“There was no reason why those interviews weren’t produced,” she said.
Martin L. Wade, first assistant district attorney, said the interview also contained information for then-active investigations, which he cited as the main reason it wasn’t put forward in discovery. He provided recordings and transcripts of the interview at the hearing Monday.
The testimony delivered in the recording strongly implicated Coleman in the murders, said Wade.
“This would have been devastating information for the jury to hear,” he said.
In order to satisfy the requirement for retrial, “The defense must prove (the evidence) would have changed their strategy or outcome (of the trial)” said Wade.
“I think (Coleman) was lucky it wasn’t in discovery,” he added.
Judge Nancy L. Butts said she will deliver her opinion and order this week.