In the News

Tyrone man seeks new trial

Shaw’s new lawyer says mistakes were made by trial, appeals attorneys

By Phil Ray for the Altoona Mirror
March 9, 2011

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Nathan T. Shaw, who is serving life in prison for the murder of his estranged girlfriend’s son, asked Blair County Judge Daniel Milliron on Tuesday to grant him a new trial.

Shaw, 30, of Tyrone was in court with his newly appointed attorney, Tim Burns, pointing to alleged mistakes made by his trial and appeals attorneys. Shaw was convicted of stabbing to death 6-year-old Jared Kline and is incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, Luzerne County.

Milliron gave Burns and Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio 30 days to file legal briefs to clarify their arguments. The judge will make a decision after receiving the briefs.

The focus of the hearing was on the attorney who took Shaw’s initial appeal in 2008 to the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

The appeals attorney did not file an adequate brief on Shaw’s behalf when arguing that Shaw did not receive a fair trial in Blair County in 2007, Burns said.

The brief devoted only 60 words to the argument that the first-degree murder verdict against Shaw was “against the weight of the evidence,” Burns said. He was pointing out that such a short argument was not detailed enough when trying to overturn the first-degree murder verdict after a weeklong trial.

Another argument the defense made was that the appeals attorney had a conflict of interest when representing Shaw before the Superior Court.

The attorney allegedly was an assistant public defender arguing that Shaw’s trial attorneys were ineffective.

There may be some validity to the argument as it could be a conflict of interest, Burns said.

Burns also said his client was not fully informed about the charges against him; photos used during the trial were “extremely gruesome”; and blood samples were not taken in the upstairs of the victim’s home.

Consiglio said that none of the issues raised by Burns were valid.

Shaw visited his estranged girlfriend, Christine Muoio, in her Tyrone apartment in December 2006. She rejected a Christmas present he brought her.

In his anger, he began beating Muoio. He then took her to another part of the apartment and sexually assaulted her. He finally stole her car and fled out-of-state.

Kline, Muoio’s son, was found dead after the assault. He had been stabbed in the neck.

Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.