An attorney representing Sheldon Jeter Jr. insists his client had nothing to do with the murder of Tyric Pugh, and says state police don’t have the “evidence” they think.
Criminal defense attorney Michael Santicola — of the Beaver law firm Santicola, Steele & Fedeles — told BeaverCountian.com he met with Jeter for several hours today in the Beaver County Jail where Jeter is being held without bail on charges of criminal homicide.
Pennsylvania State Police allege Jeter shot and killed Tyric Pugh, who was found dead on the side of a road in Aliquippa by passers-by shortly before midnight on May 15.
“Sheldon is innocent, is going to be pleading not guilty, and is going to fight this case,” Santicola told BeaverCountian.com shortly after leaving the jail.
State police allege surveillance video taken from locations around Aliquippa, and data retrieved from Jeter’s phone, place him in the area of the crime and contradict statements he made to investigators.
“That affidavit of probable cause (filed by police) doesn’t tell us anything,” said Santicola. “You tell us there are inconsistencies with his statements but you don’t tell us what they are? You say there are inconsistencies with information from his the phone, but what inconsistencies? It’s like they drew conclusions without telling us the actual facts.”
Police also say ammunition retrieved from Jeter’s home matches casings found at the scene, and that a gun retrieved from Jeter’s home is consistent with the weapon used in the killing.
But Santicola said state police are trying to hang their case on a hook that doesn’t exist.
“They did a test of Sheldon’s hands for gunshot residue, there was no gunshot residue,” said Santicola. “They found a gun in his house that he legally owns. He has a relative who is a police officer that helped him buy that gun months ago because he was getting threats related to the (Rachael) DelTondo case. He’s never used that gun.”