DA says man's conviction in Ligonier tavern shooting should stand
By Rich Cholodofsky
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Westmoreland County prosecutors contend a first-degree murder conviction against a former Texas man charged with gunning down a Ligonier bar patron in 2011 should stand.
In court documents filed on Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Tom Grace argued that jurors had enough evidence to find Steven Fromholz, 43, of San Antonio guilty of shooting 65-year-old Donald Holler of Cook Township with the intent to kill.
In August, jurors found that Fromholz fired one shot from an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle into Holler's back on July 11, 2011.
Witnesses testified that the two men argued at Fat Daddy's Place on Route 30 over a news program on the television.
Fromholz left the bar but returned seconds later with the rifle and shot Holler, witnesses said.
Fromholz was sentenced to a mandatory term of life in prison.
In an appeal filed this year, lawyers for Fromholz said there was not enough evidence to support the first-degree finding.
At trial, the defense argued that Fromholz should be convicted of third-degree murder because he was too drunk to form an intent to kill.
Third-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
The prosecution argued that Fromholz was not intoxicated to the point of rendering him unable to understand his actions and that a new trial should not be granted.
“The jury's verdict was entirely proper in this case,” Grace wrote in his legal argument.
Judge Al Bell will consider the defense request for a new trial.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
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.