READING, Pa. (AP) — A federal judge has thrown out the death penalty given to an eastern Pennsylvania man who’s spent 15 years on death row.
District Judge Anita Brody also overturned Shawnfatee Bridges’ murder conviction because prosecutors did not provide the defense with police records that could have impeached a key witness.
Bridges had been found guilty of the 1996 drug-related slayings of Reading cousins Damon and Gregory Banks.
The Reading Eagle reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/180dY95 ) that Brody overturned the death penalty because the defense didn’t call an expert psychiatric witness during the sentencing hearing.
Brody ordered prosecutors to release the now 36-year-old Bridges from state prison in Graterford by Aug. 21 unless he is retried.
District Attorney John Adams says he’ll appeal the ruling. He is also preparing to retry the case.
Information from: Reading Eagle, http://www.readingeagle.com/