Court Briefs


Motions undecided

in WB homicide case

WILKES-BARRE — A judge must still decide on several motions related to the homicide trial of a Wilkes-Barre man.

Dominic Jaquarisupa Ray, 25, is accused of shooting and killing Victor Grandy in October 2016 in Sherman Hills.

Ray’s defense attorneys, Frank McCabe and Mary Deady, had previously filed for access to an unedited version of witness testimony, something they said prosecutors had not yet provided them.

A hearing Wednesday was initially set to resolve that motion, but Luzerne County Judge Fred A. Pierantoni III said there had been discussion between counsel from both sides to hammer out a resolution.

Pierantoni set a final pre-trial conference for June 4, in which all outstanding motions will be resolved.

Pierantoni also severed a charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, so as to not unnecessarily prejudice the jury against Ray. He will instead be tried for this charge at a later date.

Weapons violator

appealing conviction

WILKES-BARRE — The elder of two brothers convicted of shooting another man in 2015 is arguing the court “abused its discretion” in allowing certain evidence to be used against him.

Dashawn McLendon, 23, of Wilkes-Barre, was convicted along with his brother, Ibn McClain, on charges stemming from the 2015 shooting of Ian Nieves.

McLendon was convicted of charges of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and firearms not to be carried without a license, but was cleared on more serious counts of aggravated assault and attempted murder.

Through his attorney, conflict counsel Matthew P. Kelly, McLendon filed an appeal in the case earlier this year. He argued prosecutors used evidence against him that was illegally obtained, saying a cellphone was illegally tracked to identify his location.

The defense also says prosecutors violated McLendon’s right to a speedy trial by not starting the trial until more than 22 months after his arrest.

In a filing Wednesday by Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis and Assistant District Attorney Jim McMonagle, they suggest that McLendon’s rights were not violated.

First, their filing says the cellphone tracked was ultimately not McLendon’s. In addition, they suggest McLendon’s trial was delayed due to the defense’s own pre-trial motions and the court’s response, rather than through any fault of the prosecution.

McLendon is serving six to 16 years in prison. He and his brother were also convicted in a 2015 string of taxi cab robberies.

— By Patrick Kernan