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  1. #1

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    Andre Staton - Pennsylvania Death Row


    Beverly Yohn


    Andre Staton


    Facts of the Crime:

    Statonís ex-girlfriend Beverly Yohn had a protective order against him and was staying at her motherís. On February 25, 2004, Staton went to the motherís house and stabbed Yohn to death in front of her two children. He was on parole from a conviction for a prior stabbing. Staton claimed that he was high at the time, and that he had acted in self-defense.

    Staton was sentenced to death in Blair County on June 1, 2006.

  2. #2
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    Court hears Staton appeal

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments this week against the death penalty for a Baltimore man who stabbed his estranged Altoona girlfriend to death in 2004.

    Andre Staton, 48, knew about the protection-from-abuse order brought against him by Beverly Yohn, and he willfully violated the court order to stay away from her, finally breaking into her mother's home in February 2004 before he stabbed her 12 times as her children watched, prosecutors said.

    Staton's Pittsburgh attorney, Thomas N. Farrell, argued that the PFA violation should not have been used to justify the death penalty for Staton because Staton didn't know the order was in effect.

    If the Supreme Court rules in his favor, Staton won't have a new trial or be released from prison, Farrell said Wednesday. It would mean that the case would be sent back to Blair County for a new death-penalty hearing.

    Staton is on death row at the State Correctional Institution at Greene, Greene County.

    Farrell did not attempt to argue that Staton was wrongfully convicted in his 2006 trial but said the PFA order should not have been used as an "aggravating circumstance" that allowed the jury to recommend death for Staton.

    Staton knew a temporary PFA order had been issued, but he thought it had been withdrawn, Farrell said.

    Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio contended Staton was aware that a PFA had been brought against him, and yet he continued to stalk Yohn and eventually murdered her.

    The trial testimony showed that the Blair County sheriff was unable to serve Staton with the final order, but Consiglio maintained that Staton had knowledge that it was issued.

    Pennsylvania juries in death-penalty cases must weigh the aggravating circumstances of a case against the mitigating circumstances and determine which carries greater weight.

    Staton grew up in Baltimore in a violent household, according to the testimony in the death-penalty phase of his trial. The jury, however, found the PFA violation outweighed testimony about Staton's abusive childhood.

    Consiglio said he feels confident the Supreme Court will uphold the death penalty in Staton's case.

    The argument before the Supreme Court was a first step in a process that could take years before the death penalty can be imposed on Staton.

    Even if the death penalty is upheld, Staton can begin a second round of appeals by filing a post-conviction petition challenging the effectiveness of his attorneys, Consiglio said. Staton can then take his case to the federal courts if he doesn't receive relief in the state courts.

    As Consiglio pointed out, Staton's case could become more complex as his appeals continue, noting federal public defenders and the Defenders' Association of Philadelphia are increasingly becoming involved in death-penalty appeals at the state level.

    In an April opinion in the Mark Spotz death-penalty case, Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald Castille questioned the involvement by federal public defenders in the state review process.

    "The federal courts - as well as other federal authorities and the Pennsylvania citizenry (generally who may not even be aware of this unusual federal activity in state courts) - may not be aware of just how global, strategic and abusive these forays have become," Castille wrote.

    A member of the Defenders' Association and the Federal Public Defender's Office in Pittsburgh were present for Staton's appeal, Consiglio said.

    Federal public defenders are involved in a competency evaluation of death-row inmate William Wright of Altoona, which is being conducted by Blair County Judge Hiram A. Carpenter.

    Blair County has three men on Pennsylvania's death row: Wright, Staton and Miguel Padilla, who was convicted of a triple homicide at Altoona's UVA Club in 2007.

    http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/co...l.html?nav=742

  3. #3
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    Staton loses Supreme Court appeal

    Death row inmate Andre Staton may be a step closer to execution for the 2004 murder of his former girlfriend.

    After nearly a five-year wait, the state Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously rejected his appeal that the Blair County District Attorney's Office shouldn't have been allowed to use the aggravating circumstance of Staton being under a protection-from-abuse order when he stabbed Beverly Yohn at her Altoona home.

    It was one of two aggravating circumstances prosecutors used in obtaining the death-penalty verdict against Staton. A jury found that the aggravating circumstances outweighed four mitigating circumstances when it handed down the verdict.

    Staton, 48, was sentenced to death June 1, 2006. He is incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Greene, Greene County.

    Staton claimed that he wasn't aware of the PFA orders that were issued against him at Yohn's request - one temporary and one final.

    The high court ruled otherwise.

    There is no dispute that Staton was never formally served with either order, but Staton "avoided that service" by the Blair County Sheriff's Department, Chief Justice Ronald Castille wrote for the court.

    Witnesses also testified that Staton knew about the orders not only from Yohn but also from a Family Services Inc. employee at the Blair County PFA Office, Castille said.

    Attorney Thomas N. Farrell of Pittsburgh, who represented Staton in his appeal, said he probably won't ask the state Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling.

    An appeal could be made directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    "It would be very difficult because this particular issue is a state question not a federal question," Farrell said. "The Supreme Court does not handle state questions; it handles federal questions."

    While it was not a specific part of Staton's appeal, the high court also ruled the evidence presented at trial was sufficient for a first-degree murder conviction. A copy of the ruling will be sent to Gov. Tom Corbett, who would have to issue an execution warrant against Staton.

    The ruling issued Tuesday was long delayed because of the numerous attorneys who had been appointed for Staton, the Supreme Court noted. Farrell is Staton's seventh appeals attorney. The prior six either withdrew from the case or were removed by court order.

    http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/co...l.html?nav=742

  4. #4
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    Corbett Signs Execution Warrants

    Gov. Tom Corbett has signed execution warrants for three men, each of whom were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.

    Terry Ray Chamberlain, Andre Staton and David Richard Ramtahal are scheduled to be executed in October. They are incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Greene.

    Staton, 49, was found guilty of stabbing to death his former girlfriend, Beverly Yohn, despite a protection from abuse order against him. One of the victimís sons testified that, on the morning of Feb. 25, 2004, Staton kicked in the locked back door of their home, entered the kitchen, pulled out a knife and began stabbing his mother until she fell on the floor. Yohn died of multiple stab wounds to the heart and left jugular vein. A Blair County jury convicted Staton of first-degree murder and he was sentenced to death on May 3, 2006.

    Staton is scheduled to be executed on Oct. 10.

    With these warrants, Corbett has now signed 19 execution warrants.

    Staton HAS NOT exhausted all appeals

    http://gantdaily.com/2012/08/19/corb...tion-warrants/
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  5. #5
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    Stay of execution issued by Blair County Common Pleas Court on August 20, 2012.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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    Staton Agrees To Court Appointed Representation

    In Hollidaysburg Thursday, death-row inmate Andre Staton agreed to be represented by a court-appointed attorney as he pursues a new trial.

    Staton, whose execution has been temporarily stayed, shook his head in disgust when Blair County Judge Elizabeth Doyle said she wanted him to undergo a competency evaluation. He argued that he didn't need a competency evaluation because the judge had already appointed attorney Tim Burns to handle this stage of his appeal.

    Staton was sentenced to death for the first-degree murder of former girlfriend Beverly Yohn.

    The hearing Thursday may be just the start of a lengthy and intense battle over Staton's conviction and sentence.

    http://www.wrta.com/Staton-Agrees-To...ation/14126575
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  7. #7
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    Andre Staton assaulted his court appointed attorney this morning in open court

    Convicted murderer punches attorney in court

    May 13, 2013
    The Altoona Mirror

    A Baltimore man on death row for killing his estranged girlfriend in 2004 punched his attorney in the face at the conclusion of a motion hearing in Blair County Court this morning.

    Andre Staton, convicted of the murder of Beverly Yohn of Altoona, was in court Monday morning for a hearing on two motions in his appeals.

    His attorney, Tim Burns of Ebensburg, asked Blair County Judge Elizabeth Doyle to recuse herself from Staton's case because she presided over his murder trial and Staton's protection-from-abuse order hearing. Doyle refused.

    She also denied Staton's request to represent himself during his appeals.

    As the hearing was concluding, Staton said he wanted to drop his appeals and get the lethal injection.

    Staton was in handcuffs, which were attached to a belt. He raised his arms and swung them like a bat, striking Burns in the face, knocking him to the floor.

    Burns, who said he was having troubling seeing after being hit, was taken out of the courtroom on a stretcher.

    Mirror reporters are working on a story for Tuesday.


    http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/co...id/571569.html
    Last edited by JOgershok; 05-13-2013 at 11:42 AM.

  8. #8
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    Attorney Speaks Out About Being Attacked

    Court appointed defense attorney Tim Burns said he still recovering after being hit in the head more than a week ago by his client.

    "The last thing I remember was his shackled handcuffed hands coming towards my face," said Burns.

    The Cambria County attorney was representing Andre Staton who has been on death row in Blair County after he was convicted in 2004 of killing of Beverly Yohn. They were in court because Staton wanted to represent himself which was denied by a judge. As the hearing was concluding Staton hit Burns.

    'I was on the floor and couldn't see out of my left eye," said Burns. "Then I was taken out on a stretcher."

    Burns has been hospitalized twice since he was hit.

    'It has been difficult," said Burns. "I've had headaches, confusions and nauseous."

    Burns is suffering from a concussion and post concussion syndrome and has been unable to work since the attack.

    "I have no animosity towards him," said Burns.

    Charges were filed against Staton Wednesday morning by state police, a hearing is expected to take place next week.

    Burns said he hopes to be back to work soon, but never expected to get a concussion in the courtroom.

    "I would expect getting by some of our DA's but not a defendant," he said jokingly.

    http://wearecentralpa.com/fulltext-news?nxd_id=463632
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  9. #9
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    Inmateís hearing delayed

    The first court appearance by a death-row inmate who police and many witnesses say slammed a Cambria County attorney in the face more than a month ago is again delayed.

    A preliminary hearing for Andre Staton, scheduled for today in front of Hollidaysburg District Judge Paula Aigner, was continued at the last minute Monday, apparently because he does not have an attorney to represent him.

    A new hearing date has not been set, according to court personnel.

    Staton, 50, who had been housed at SCI-Greene, is facing a long list of charges including two that, if upheld, could bring a life sentence in addition to the sentence he received in 2004 for the murder of an Altoona woman.

    A Baltimore native, Staton is charged with striking Tim Burns of Ebensburg while the two were in the Blair County courtroom of Judge Elizabeth Doyle.

    Staton has been charged with assault by a prisoner and assault by a life prisoner, which carry life sentences. He also is charged with aggravated assault, aggravated assault to intentionally cause injury and simple assault.

    Burns was serving as Statonís court- appointed attorney in postsentencing motions.

    They were in court May 13 when Staton, apparently was not pleased when Burns agreed with Doyleís decision that Staton could not represent himself in further court appearances.

    In full view of the judge, Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio, sheriffís deputies and other court personnel, Staton lifted his handcuffed hands, and as if hitting a baseball, slammed Burns in the face.

    The attorney fell backward on his chair and was momentarily knocked out.

    He was treated at the hospital, where it was determined he sustained a concession and has since been unable to work.

    Late last month, Burns suffered a heart attack from what he said was a pre-existing heart condition, but likely was worsened by the stress he has suffered since the courtroom incident.

    In subsequent weeks, Doyle removed Burns as Statonís attorney, telling Staton that his actions meant he relinquished his right to a court-appointed attorney.

    Deputy District Attorney Jackie Bernard, who will prosecute Staton on the new charges, could not be reached for comment Monday and the Blair County public defenderís office did not respond to a request for comment.

    Those close to the case said the lack of a defense attorney is holding up the hearing.

    Meanwhile, Burns said Monday he is still working on his recovery.

    ďIím just hanging in there, I still have a lot of issues with the concussion,Ē he said.

    ďMy heart, for the most part, is back to normal, but Iím still dealing with the concussion,Ē he said.

    http://tribune-democrat.com/local/x1...earing-delayed
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  10. #10
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    Yet another way for death-row inmates to delay justice: beat up your lawyer.

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