Cambria judge grants continuance of inmate's homicide conviction appeal

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Jun. 29—A Cambria County judge on Tuesday granted a continuance in a state prison inmate's appeal of his murder conviction so his attorney can try to locate two additional witnesses.

Cambria County Judge Patrick Kiniry continued the case at the request of Richard Corcoran, attorney for Earl Mitchell, 27, who was convicted in 2016 of shooting Jareek Adams and Jonathan Moore in a parking lot at Johnstown's Oakhurst Homes.

Adams, 27, died. Moore, then 30, was injured.

Mitchell testified at trial that he acted to defend himself and passengers in his vehicle, but was convicted by a jury of third-degree murder and aggravated assault; Kiniry sentenced him to spend 25 to 50 years in prison. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' online inmate locator shows that he's serving his sentence at the State Correctional Institution at Fayette.

Corcoran argued Tuesday that, on the night of the shooting, Mitchell was in the company of three individuals, including Nasir Allen. He said that, from his findings, it appears Allen was spoken to by Johnstown police, but was unable to be located for Mitchell's trial.

"We believe he would be able to testify that one of the individuals involved had a gun and pulled it before Mr. Mitchell did," Corcoran said.

Corcoran added that he reached out to Allen's attorney with no response, and he said he intends to reach out to Allen directly because he believes there is no criminal culpability involved.

According to Corcoran, a gun owned by another individual he said is "related to one of the victims or their families," was also discovered at the scene. Corcoran said he's reached out to the public defender in Blair County, where that person is from and had several recent cases, to help locate the individual to find out why the gun may have been at the scene on the night of the homicide.

Prosecutor Jennifer Buck, of the state Office of Attorney General, had no objection to Corcoran's motion for a continuance.

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