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Man convicted of shaking child wants new trial


A Johnstown man convicted more than two years ago of shaking his infant son and causing brain damage was back in court Tuesday.

The new defense attorney representing Joshua Miller said there was no evidence presented at his trial in 2011 to prove it was his actions that caused the childs injuries and he's asking for a new trial.

Miller has already served more than two years of his 5-10-year prison sentence. He continues to maintain his innocence but he said his original defense team didn't do a good job representing him.  

He's hired new counsel and asked for a second chance.  

Since the accusations surfaced in 2009, Miller, 34, has consistently denied them.  He is nearly half way through his prison sentence.

"We think there are grounds for relief for Josh in the way the case was presented, Millers new attorney Art McQuillan said.  Certain rulings that were made and facts that are disputable and we're asking for an entire review of the trial process."

Millers now 4-year-old son was at the hearing with his mother.  She said her son is doing great and said there's nothing wrong with him.  She said she stands behind Miller, saying he never did what he was convicted of.

"I'm glad to report that Reese is dong amazingly well.  He's a healthy, bouncy child.  No residual effects from whatever happened to him and really the underlying basis of our request for relief here is the fact that the commonwealth could not prove the injuries happened the way they suggested they happened, McQuillan said.

The Cambria Co. district attorney's office doesn't agree.  They said Miller received a fair trial and just because the outcome wasn't in his favor, they argued he shouldn't get another chance.

"The number one thing he's addressing is whether his trial counsel and his appellate counsel were ineffective, said Assistant District Attorney Scott Lilly.  We don't believe they were.  We believe the justice system worked in this regard and we'll go forth with the appeal and brief the issues as necessary."

Both sides have been given 45 days to formulate a briefing to explain why or why not the case should be retried.  A judge must then decide.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times