Last updated: June 12. 2014 9:40AM - 921 Views
By - elewis@timesleader.com

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WILKES-BARRE —Tyree Brown wanted to rescind his guilty plea or have charges he fatally shot a woman in Edwardsville dismissed because the Luzerne County judge who presided over his case was a gambler and an alcoholic.

Brown, 27, of Philadelphia, was denied his request.

Judge Fred Pierantoni III rejected Brown’s requests for a trial, withdrawal his guilty plea or to have criminal homicide charges dismissed.

Brown sought to have his case reopened due to his beliefs that the presiding judge, Michael Toole, was a “full blown alcoholic” as well as having a pathological gambling addiction, according to his Post Conviction Relief Petition.

Brown pleaded guilty on Aug. 26, 2004, to third-degree murder in the execution-style shooting death of Joy Santos.

Toole sentenced Brown, and co-defendant Shawn Price, 34, who pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, to 15 to 30 years in state prison.

Brown was 16 years old and Price was 22 at the time of the killing inside a residence on Green Street on Oct. 2, 2003.

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