Convicted Hollow Tavern arsonist appeals sentence in Westmoreland court
A Latrobe man convicted of torching the landmark Hollow Tavern in 2008 returned to a Westmoreland County courtroom Monday to claim his lawyer did not properly question witnesses during his trial.
Edgar Wiltrout, 64, is serving a 28-year sentence for arson at the restaurant along Route 30 in Loyalhanna Gorge, Unity Township. He maintained his innocence at trial.
Wiltrout contends his former defense lawyer, Allen Roth, never properly questioned a jailhouse informant who testified for the prosecution. His new defense lawyer, James Fox, said Roth should have challenged that witness' allegations that Wiltrout covered up the crime based on information he received from a family member of the state police detective who investigated the fire.
District Attorney John Peck said neither the trooper nor his family members who knew Wiltrout leaked information about the investigation.
Common Pleas Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. said he will decide the appeal after reviewing written arguments.
The Hollow Tavern was rebuilt and briefly reopened under another name in 2014. It closed the following year.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.