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Man imprisoned for New Kensington slaying says trial defense fell short

| Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Doyle Daniel Jr.

A former Arnold man serving an 18-year prison sentence for killing a man in a New Kensington bar was in court Tuesday to ask for a new trial.

Doyle Daniel Jr., 44, told Westmoreland County Judge John Blahovec he was poorly represented during his 2001 murder trial.

Daniel was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the Jan. 6, 2000, shooting of Edward “Lo” Jones at Sha Kei's Place.

Police said Daniel shot Jones six times at close range.

Jurors rejected the prosecution's theory that Daniel should have been found guilty of first-degree murder because he plotted the killing.

During the trial, the prosecution argued that Daniel plotted to kill Jones, 22, in revenge for threats the victim allegedly made against his family.

The defense claimed Daniel acted in self-defense. Jones was a well-known drug dealer in the New Kensington area who four days earlier threatened to assault Daniel's girlfriend, the defense argued at trial.

Daniel was sentenced by Blahovec to a prison term of seven to 14 years for the manslaughter conviction and two consecutive one- to two-year sentences for reckless endangerment and a firearms offense.

Daniel is eligible for parole, but continues to serve his state prison sentences.

In court on Tuesday, Daniel, who is acting as his own lawyer, contended his trial defense was inadequate because a number of potentially helpful witnesses were not called to testify.

Daniel said that evidence that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder was not properly argued to the jury.

Blahovec said those issues had been litigated previously and state Superior Court affirmed Daniel's conviction in 2005.

District Attorney John Peck said Daniel's latest appeal should be rejected.

“This is clearly untimely,” Peck said.

Blahovec said he will rule later on whether Daniel should be appointed another lawyer and if his latest appeal has merit.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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