Murderer seeks appeal from state's top bench
The attorney for a Fayette County man sentenced to death in 1988 for the stabbing death of Saundra Marie Martin has petitioned the state Supreme Court for an allowance of appeal.
Sam Davis of Uniontown filed the petition on Monday on behalf of Mark David Breakiron, formerly of Hopwood.
Breakiron, 52, was convicted of homicide and robbery. He won a new trial when a federal judge ruled in May 2011 that prosecutors withheld evidence about a jailhouse snitch that could have been used to impeach his testimony against Breakiron.
Martin worked as a waitress at Shenanigan's Lounge in German Township to earn money to go to school to become a dental hygienist.
She was closing the business for the night when Breakiron attacked her, took her purse and the bar's receipts, and drove her to his grandparents' house in South Union, where he tortured and killed her, according to police.
Breakiron's trial is not set to begin until at least December, pending the outcome of the Supreme Court appeal.
During an Aug. 29 hearing in which Breakiron waived his right to a speedy trial, Davis told Fayette County Judge Steve Leskinen he intended to appeal a recent Superior Court decision to the state Supreme Court.
A panel of three judges recently quashed the Superior Court appeal, in which Davis had sought to overturn Leskinen's decisions denying a claim of double jeopardy and allowing the aggravating circumstances of torture and robbery at the retrial.
The Superior Court judges quashed the appeal without even considering Davis' arguments.
In court records, the judges said although Leskinen approved the appeal to Superior Court, Davis was still required to file a petition with the higher court seeking permission to do so before he filed the actual appeal.
In addition, the judges said Davis missed a 30-day deadline to appeal Leskinen's denial of the double jeopardy claim.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 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.
- Connellsville burning rules set to kick in
- Everson volunteer firefighters set to sell hoagies
- Inaugural food, toy drive slated for Connellsville
- Connellsville man admitted drinking, fighting with victim before deadly 2013 crash, trooper testifies
- Perryopolis police officer dies in Route 51 crash
- Stanley Cup coming to Ice Mine in Dunbar Township
- Fallen Perryopolis police officer chased his dream
- Fayette inmate represents self at hearing
- Fayette County judge refuses to dismiss dragging case against Hiller man
- Connellsville man ready to cash in on discovery coin
- Fayette City man gets probation in child porn case