Fayette County judge approves $6,995 for court experts
A Fayette County judge approved payments totaling $6,995 to expert witnesses who testified during appeal hearings for a death-row convicted murderer.
Senior Judge Gerald Solomon on Tuesday ordered the county to pay $2,000 each to forensic pathologist Charles Wetli of Alpine, N.J., and clinical psychologist Kristina Jacquin of Santa Barbara, Calif. The county is to pay $1,960 to psychiatrist Dr. Susan Rich of Potomac, Md., and $995 to Eunice Askov, an adult literacy expert from State College, according to Solomon's order.
The four witnesses testified during appeal hearings for James VanDivner, who was convicted in 2007 of first-degree murder in the July 5, 2004 shooting death of his former girlfriend, Michelle Cable, outside her Jefferson Township home.
A jury gave VanDivner the death penalty.
Through attorneys Brent and Mariah Balling-Peck of Uniontown, VanDivner is claiming that he is ineligible for the death penalty because he is mentally retarded, among other reasons.
Solomon heard testimony on the appeal but has not yet issued a decision.
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.
- Senator opens Connellsville office
- Twin pizza shop owners in Connellsville rise to The Challenge
- Big future seen for former Fayette grocery warehouse
- 3 donors to match, help ministries reach campaign goal
- Lynn: Brownfield Seniors schedule Valentine Dinner
- Fayette County relies on Westmoreland response team for pet rescues
- Report on cause of Uniontown train derailment not due for weeks
- New owners have big plans for Fayette County landmark Braddock Inn
- 7 rail cars go off tracks in Uniontown, no injuries reported
- Connellsville mother leads charge for medical marijuana
- Uniontown woman goes on trial as driver in fatal wreck