Defense attorneys representing Sheldon Jeter Jr. say they want a new trial for the man after learning one of the jurors who convicted him of murder this month was allegedly the next-door neighbor of slain Aliquippa school teacher Rachael DelTondo.
A jury found Jeter guilty on June 23 of first-degree murder for the May 2020 shooting death of Tyric Pugh, also of Aliquippa.
Defense attorney Michael Santicola publicly acknowledges that Jeter also remains a law enforcement suspect in the 2018 Mother’s Day murder of DelTondo, although no one has been charged in the case.
Jeter has denied any involvement in either of the murders.
Santicola said Jeter’s romantic relationship with DelTondo was well publicized following a leak by the Aliquippa Police Department in late 2017, and that innumerable news stories in local, regional, and national media outlets drew virtually unavoidable attention to the woman’s subsequent murder.