A scheduled hearing today for a man accused of the May 15 killing of Tyric Pugh in Aliquippa has been continued.
Sheldon Devant Jeter, Jr., 22, of Aliquippa, is facing criminal homicide charges for allegedly shooting and killing Pugh. Speaking to BeaverCountian.com through his attorney, Jeter has denied the accusation.
The preliminary hearing in the case has been continued until June 25 at the request of prosecutors, who say they are awaiting final forensic reports that have been backlogged due to COVID-19 related delays.
Senior Magisterial District Judge John Armor approved the continuance over the objections of attorney Michael Santicola, who is representing Jeter in the case.
“My objection was, if you need forensic reports to sustain a prima facie case at a preliminary hearing you shouldn’t have charged him,” Santicola said.
While “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” is the familiar standard for trials, preliminary hearings require only some evidence be presented to establish each of the material elements of a crime, and to establishes probable cause to believe the accused committed the offense — a standard known to attorneys as “prima facie.”