EBENSBURG, Pa. — A federal public defender is seeking bail for a Pennsylvania man granted a new trial in his ex-wife’s slaying a quarter-century ago.
Kevin Charles Siehl, now 60, was sentenced to life in prison in the July 1991 slaying of Christine Siehl, who was found stabbed to death in a bathtub with the shower still running. A judge ruled that a Cambria County prosecutor didn’t disclose blood evidence that may have helped him.
Public defender Lisa Freeland said in a Sept. 7 motion that her client’s health has deteriorated during his incarceration, the (Johnstown) Tribune-Democrat (http://bit.ly/2cQ883l ) reported. She cited a 2009 heart attack and implantation of a pacemaker in 2014.
Freeland is seeking bail pending resolution of the case but also seeks a vacated conviction, an order barring a retrial and dismissal of charges, citing “unrelenting, underhanded and unconstitutional tactics employed by the prosecution in this case.”
“With every step, from the pretrial to the post-conviction proceedings, the prosecutors ignored the bounds of legitimate advocacy and, in doing so, undermined the integrity of judicial process,” she said.
Judge David Grine ruled in July that prosecutors ordered retesting of what appeared to be blood on the defendant’s shoes and found the results supported his original statement to police, but the evidence wasn’t given to defense attorneys or presented at trial.
The failure to disclose the evidence, he said, “so undermined the truth-determining process that no reliable adjudication of guilt or innocence could have taken place.” He also faulted the defense for failure to challenge evidence, including a bloody fingerprint used to tie Siehl to the crime scene.
Grine, a Centre County judge handling the case because so many Cambria County judges have been involved in it over the years, is scheduled to hear arguments on the motion Oct. 13.