Court rejects appeal in slaying
UNIONTOWN (AP) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a western Pennsylvania man facing retrial in the 1987 stabbing death of a waitress.
Mark Breakiron, 52, of Hopwood, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in the 1987 murder of Saundra Martin, 24, of Smithfield, after the robbery of Shenanigan’s Lounge in German Township.
A federal judge in 2011 overturned the conviction, citing tainted testimony from another inmate.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that the state’s highest court on Wednesday rejected a challenge to a lower court decision denying Breakiron’s request that jurors not be allowed to hear evidence of torture and robbery during a retrial.
The high court also rejected a double jeopardy argument against a new trial at which prosecutors will again seek capital punishment.