John Knospler Junior Files Motion For A New Trial…Court Says No
A Pennsylvania man convicted of murder wants to start over in Natrona County District Court.
UPDATE: The court has rejected the motion for a retrial.
Attorneys for 34-year old John Knospler Junior have filed a motion for a new trial, saying he did not get a meaningful opportunity to present a complete defense as required in the 14th amendment.
In December, a jury convicted him of second degree murder, in the death of 24-year old James Baldwin, outside of Rack's Gentlemen's Club in October 2013.
Knospler's attorneys argue that they sought to introduce evidence to support the theory that Knospler was acting in self-defense and Baldwin was the aggressor, but was denied by the courts.
Attorney's wanted to mention Baldwin's prior auto burglaries
They also argue that one person who testified at trial, violated the court's discovery order, by introducing a claim that was not disclosed in the witness statements.
The final argument is that Knospler objected to the playing of video during trial, of his being questioned by police from the night of the incident, claiming his right to pre-arrest silence was violated.
Attorney's claim constitutional error require reversal, unless the state proves beyond a reasonable doubt, that the errors complained of, did not contribute to the verdict.
Knospler himself, did not testify in his own defense at trial.
Natrona County District Attonrey Mike Blonigen counters that the evidence that Knospler's attorney's wanted to present was improper profiling evidence and is irrelevant.
The court had previously ruled that the evidence was improper character evidence and improper state of mind evidence.
As for the auto burglaries, Blonigen says the defendant does not claim the acts themselves apply to any relevant character trait, rather part of a pattern of behavior, that the defense wishes to tie to the profiling evidence.
In regards to the new testimony that was not in the witness statements, Blonigen says it was not relevant to the matter, because the testimony from Chris Syverson was that Baldwin approached and asked him for a light, because he wanted to smoke marijuana that night.
Blonigen did not directly address the video complaint in his response, but says the new trial motion is filled with objections never made at trial and that nothing in the new trial motion makes a compelling argument for a new trial.
Knospler is being held without bond, awaiting sentencing.
He could receive between 20 years to life in prison.
Blonigen was not available for comment.
An update will be posted when we get a response, if any, to the video complaint.