WILKES-BARRE — A murderer sentenced Monday for cutting a woman’s throat and leaving her for dead in 2014 is contesting whether prosecutors proved the victim suffered a serious bodily injury while blaming the assault on his codefendant, according to court documents filed Thursday.
Jerone Andre Moore, 33, was sentenced for the kidnapping and attempted murder of 22-year-old Danya Williams, of Pittston, in October 2014. A jury in February found Moore led Williams into the woods of Bear Creek Township and cut her throat, causing serious bodily injury. Williams survived the assault.
Prosecutors pushing for a stiff sentence Monday revealed Moore was jailed in a New York prison for five years for beating another person to death with a baseball bat when he was 16 years old. A judge sided with their argument and imposed the maximum sentence of 26 to 60 years in state prison.
A motion for a new trial filed by defense attorney David V. Lampman II says prosecutors failed to produce evidence from Williams’ physician or other hospital staff at trial about whether ‘serious bodily injury’ occurred.
Williams wasn’t present for Moore’s sentencing, but her mother said a part of her daughter “died that day.”
Lampman argued it wasn’t Moore, but codefendant Nygee Taylor who “called the shots” and had the motivation to kill Williams. He ordered Williams’ abduction and torture, and he possessed the knife and tossed it into the woods following the assault, Lampman wrote in the filing.
Lampman suggested Darnell Evans, a witness present before Williams’ assault who took the stand against Moore, may also have been responsible. Evans previously committed “violent crime at Nygee Taylor’s request,” he wrote.
Taylor and his girlfriend, Chloe Amelia Issacs, were allegedly angry because they believed Williams stole an iPhone from them during a party at their home a day earlier. The phone held contacts and other incriminating information related to drug dealing, authorities say.
Taylor, 27, was sentenced to 9½ to 19 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in February. Issacs, 23, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and assault charges in July and was paroled for time served.
Lampman further argued prosecutors offered leniency in Evans’ and Isaacs’ outstanding court cases in exchange for their testimony against Moore.
Prosecutors, Lampman wrote, failed to challenge Isaacs’ requests for release on unsecured bail or a time served sentence for her role in the case. Evans, meanwhile, was uncharged in the case and received a four- to eight-year sentence on robbery, shooting, and prison assault cases, Lampman argued.
Lampman wrote that Moore’s sentence was excessive based on the testimony against Moore and the sentences handed down to Isaacs and Taylor. He asks a judge to reconsider Moore’s sentence.
Prosecutors did not immediately respond to the motion.