Man Convicted Of PA Murder Found With Jury List
EASTON, Pa. (AP) – Authorities in eastern Pennsylvania say a Philadelphia man convicted of murder in a botched 2007 home invasion robbery was found in possession of a list of jurors in his case as he was being returned to prison after his trial.
Northampton County Court officials say sheriff’s deputies found the list when they searched paperwork that 39-year-old Angel Echevarria was carrying. They said Echevarria told them it had gotten among his papers by chance.
Officials said use of the jury panel list – which had prospective jurors’ name, city and occupation – was allowed during jury selection but the defendant should not have had it during his trial. Defense attorney Christopher Shipman said he’s not sure how his client obtained the list.
Northampton County Judge Paula Roscioli said Friday authorities believe there is no danger to jurors.
“There’s no indication that he was attempting to do anything with (the list) at this point in time,’’ Roscioli said, adding that he would not face additional charges. “We don’t like the fact that it ever got into his possession, but our system worked because we found it.’’
But, officials said this was the second time in a week that Echevarria almost took something back to prison. Earlier in the week, Roscioli said, he placed a non-prisonissued pen in his folder, which was also found by deputies.
Echevarria was convicted of second-degree murder and more than two dozen other charges in the July 2007 robbery in south Bethlehem that wounded James Garcia and killed 34-year-old Daniel Rivera, of Tampa, Fla.
Prosecutors in Northampton County said Julio Lopez, the former boyfriend of Garcia’s ex-wife, arranged for Echevarria to hire two other men for the robbery. Lopez is awaiting trial on murder and related charges. Shipman argued that Lopez, not Echevarria, helped commit the actual robbery.