Last updated: April 01. 2014 11:27PM - 1982 Views
By - elewis@civitasmedia.com

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The Pennsylvania Superior Court on Tuesday granted no relief for a Pittston man serving 15 to 30 years in state prison for fatally beating another man in 2009.

Nicholas Policare, 24, sought to have his appellate rights restored after he was sentenced by former Luzerne County Judge Joseph Van Jura in January 2011.

Policare pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for his role in the beating death of Joseph Lesh, 25, on Williams Street, Pittston, in August 2009, according to court records.

Prosecutors said Policare and Andre Edwards, 36, of Pittston, kicked and punched Lesh and then dragged him out of a house with a rope tied around his neck.

Edwards pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in state prison in December 2010.

Policare filed a Post Conviction Relief motion in January 2013, seeking to reinstitute his appellate rights, claiming his trial lawyers, Steven M. Greenwald and Joseph Saporito Jr., failed to file post-sentence motions or a notice of appeal immediately after he was sentenced by Van Jura.

Policare said that a few days after he was sentenced, he phoned Greenwald instructing him to file an appeal and a motion to modify his sentence. Greenwald had testified Policare never told him to appeal the sentence. If Policare had, Greenwald said, he would have filed an appeal or request to modify Policare’s sentence.

Luzerne County Judge Tina Polichek Gartley denied Polciare’s post conviction relief, which was upheld by the Superior Court.

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