ERIE, Pa. — An appeals court has overturned the 1998 conviction of a New York man in a fatal Pennsylvania shooting, saying a witness lied resulting in an unfair trial.

Erie County, Pennsylvania prosecutors must now decide whether to retry 48-year-old Vance Haskell in the 1994 slaying of Darrell Cooley at Jethroe’s Steakhouse in Erie or let Haskell go free from the life sentence he’s serving.

Haskell was convicted of first-degree murder after the woman claimed she saw the Rochester, New York man shoot at Cooley 11 times with an Uzi-like machine gun.

Haskell’s attorney argued before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in March that she lied by telling a jury she got nothing in return for her testimony. They contend Erie County prosecutors helped her get probation for an unrelated retail theft conviction in a neighboring county.

SHARE
Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.