District Attorney's Office / photo by John Paul

A defense attorney is accusing Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier of seriously mishandling a search of a county inmate’s cell in connection with the Mother’s Day murder of an Aliquippa woman.

Gerald Benyo Jr., who represents Wayne Cordes, 21, of Hopewell Township, filed a court motion today seeking sanctions against Lozier, which could include dismissal of all criminal charges pending against his client.

Benyo said Cordes’ Constitutional rights and state laws were violated when Aliquippa Police and Beaver County Detectives searched his cell on May 29 at Lozier’s direction.

“District Attorney David Lozier can not make his own rules,” attorney Benyo told the Beaver Countian. “As the head of law enforcement in Beaver County, he should be particularly cognizant of any breach of the rules of criminal procedure and should be particularly vigilant in upholding Constitutional rights.”

District Attorney Lozier believes attorney Benyo has ulterior motives.

“Baseless. He appears to be filing a motion in an attempt to skirt a court order not to discuss certain matters,” said Lozier. “I try to obey court orders.”

Wayne Cordes is in jail awaiting trial on 13 felony and misdemeanor charges for allegedly assaulting and robbing a man in Aliquippa on Oct. 26. The charges against Cordes were filed by Aliquippa Police Sgt. Kenneth Watkins.

Cordes told the Beaver Countian prior to the search that he received a letter days after Rachael DelTondo was murdered on May 13, allegedly revealing details of how she died.

Benyo said officers took part of the letter from a Bible during the search. Cordes’ mother told the Beaver Countian that her son had given the other half of the letter to Benyo.

The jail cell search is one of two known searches apparently related to the letter. On June 8, county detectives raided Benyo’s office and a county judge placed him under a gag order for all matters connected to the homicide case. The search warrant for Benyo’s office was sealed.

Cordes’ search warrant also was sealed and therefore didn’t require the officers to provide the affidavit of probable cause for the search, Benyo wrote. But the law did require them to provide Cordes with a copy of the warrant and a copy of a receipt detailing what property was taken.

Cordes was provided with nothing. In addition, when Benyo sought the records, nothing had been filed at the county courthouse as required.

Further, Benyo is alleging that Cordes’ Constitutional rights were violated because Lozier failed to direct the officers not to confiscate confidential attorney-client records.

The officers did just that, Benyo wrote, taking all of Cordes’ records pertaining to his unrelated case. They included Cordes’ discovery package, which is a compilation of the prosecution’s information in his case, including everything from the explanation of charges to witness statements and investigation notes.

Benyo said Cordes had made notations on the documents, noting the errors in the investigation, corrections on the factual allegations, highlights of the inconsistencies of witness statements and other thoughts on possible defense points and strategy that could be used in his defense.

Benyo wrote that the Aliquippa Police Department, which had charged Cordes, and Lozier’s office, which will try Cordes on the charges, now have access to his personal thoughts concerning his defense strategy.

“In this case, District Attorney David Lozier set into motion a course of events that violated attorney-client communications and directly extracted the personal thoughts of how Mr. Cordes was going to defend himself against the charges filed against him by the Aliquippa Police Department,” Benyo told the Beaver Countian.

The seizure has “significantly impacted and made impossible” Cordes’ right to a fair jury trial, Benyo wrote.

Along with seeking sanctions against the District Attorney’s Office, Benyo is asking the court to direct the Clerk of Courts of Beaver County to make available all documents concerning search warrants issued in the DelTondo homicide case, with the exception of the affidavits of probable cause — the only portion of the documents that can be sealed by law according to the attorney.

See Also:

Mysterious DelTondo Murder Letter Leads To Raid Of Attorney’s Office – Court Gags Defense Lawyer

Staff Reports
Reported and written by the team at BeaverCountian.com

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Disgruntled
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Disgruntled

After his term is up, Lozier has a promising future in the meat department at any number of local grocery stores. He has a strong track record when it comes to butchering everything put in front of him.

Dotell
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Dotell

I wouldn’t want him touching my food! Lol

bob sabinski
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bob sabinski

he can touch my meat

JoeDoe
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JoeDoe

I worked at the Beaver County Courthouse a few years back and I don’t EVER recall ANY DA getting themselves or the Office as a whole involved in a case as much as Lozier has with the Deltondo murder and the absurdity at the Aliquippa PD. Something just isn’t right! What is he hiding? Who is he protecting?

Unreal
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Unreal

I can’t believe anyone is falling for this bs. Don’t you see the set up? Fake letter, fake eye witness all to create a FAKE story line. Now they will let this guy free cause he did his part in creating a fake story. Unreal

Unbungabelievable
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Unbungabelievable

WELL WELL WELL. Look at whose name pops up AGAIN. WATKINS of course accompanied by Lozier. SMH.

FF84
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FF84

It’s sounds like this is on the wrong track from the beginning? Violating people’s rights and doing what you what is something we all should be alarmed about, this hole thing is turning into a soap opera with a DA that look like he’s talking on a shoe in the pic that they have of him! This from the beginning should have been handed over to the State Police from the start! With all problems that the APD HAS HAD BEFORE AND AFTER THIS TRAGIC DEATH OF RACHAEL DeLTONDO! Give this family a peace of mind and let the PSP take over this investigation, the longer this goes on there should be an investigation into the DA’s offices, this has opened my eyes on the County DA’s office that we have a man in charge that has no clue what’s going on? DO THE RIGHT THING AND LET PSP TAKE THIS OVER!!!!

BC
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BC

AND THEY TOOK MY SONS TUMBLER AND HIS CELL MATES TUMBLER FOR DNA. WHY??????? What are they planning? NO, IT NEVER ENDS…