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Judge OKs Law Student’s Dying Declaration as Evidence, But Nixes MySpace Page Related to Defendant

Posted Oct 24, 2011 7:56 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Comments made by a University of Pittsburgh law student to witnesses, after he was shot outside bar in York, Pa., that someone had tried to steal his cell phone will be admissible at the forthcoming trial of a 16-year-old defendant facing adult charges including first-degree murder in the alleged robbery-related slaying last year.

York County Judge Michael E. Bortner ruled that several hearsay exceptions permit the dying declaration of James Wallmuth III to be used at the upcoming trial, according to the Daily Record and the York Dispatch.

However, Bortner granted a motion to suppress concerning a page on the MySpace social networking site. There is no proof that defendant Jordan Wallick of York created or maintained the web page, which contains photos of Wallick, the judge said in a Friday ruling.

And, although the state contended the photos linked Wallick to a "Stickup Kids" rap song on the page, the judge said the offered evidence was not clearly linked to the crime and hence is more prejudicial than probative.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Teen Charged in Pittsburgh Law Student’s Robbery and Murder"

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