USA - Pennsylvania. York County Court overturned Noel Montalvo's conviction and death sentence

15 February 2019 :

The York County Court of Common Pleas has overturned Noel Montalvo's conviction and death sentence on multiple grounds. Milton Montalvo, now 56, Hispanic, and his brother Noel Montalvo, now 55, were sentenced to death in separate trials in 2000 and 2003 for the April 19, 1998 killings of Miriam Asencio, 44, and Manuel Ramirez Santana, 37. Milton Montalvo's death sentences were overturned in 2017 and he awaits a resentencing hearing. Today the court ruled that Noel, who has maintained his innocence and whose chief accuser has recanted her testimony, was entitled to a new trial because the trial judge improperly instructed the jury on the findings necessary to convict. The court also reversed Montalvo's death sentence because the state pursued an invalid aggravating circumstance and because Montalvo's lawyer failed to investigate and present mitigating evidence that could have persuaded the jury to spare his life and evidence of intellectual disability that could have made him ineligible for the death penalty.


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