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

35 COMMENTS

  1. 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.

     
  2. 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?

     
  3. 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

     
  4. 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!!!!

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

       
  5. Lozier is a turd in a sea of mozzarella! Hard to watch this dickhead slice and dice the law. And to think I voted for this moron. He actually knocked on my door. Hope he does again so I can let him know what I think of his tenure. #pathetic

     
    • He is a defense attorney. A REAL one. Are you jealous thay he may have ambitions and actually do a good job?

       
  6. The inmate is in on this…I wonder if Lauren is buddies with the inmates baby momma? Hmm 1. Create an eye witness. 2. create a story line

     
  7. Article has been updated with a reaction by District Attorney David Lozier:

    “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.”

     
    • I set forth the legal issues specifically in the Motion For Sanctions filed with the Court. If the District Attorney wishes to file a Motion with the Court alleging that I violated any Order of Court he may do so.

      History should have made Mr. Lozier aware that I take my client’s Constitutional Rights seriously and have no hesitation in defending them aggressively. When the government crosses Constitutional lines, as Mr. Lozier has done in this instance, the only response is to vigorously defend individual rights – as once the government is permitted to encroach on civil liberties and criminal rights, it doesn’t stop but keeps expanding to erode all liberties and rights.

      Mr. Lozier can also file a written response to the Motion For Sanctions with the Court denying the search of Mr. Cordes’ cell occurred or that the seizure of Cordes’ legal documents and notes as to his defense strategy were properly authorized by the Court and didn’t violate Constitutional Rights. I invite Mr. Lozier to appear in Court and explain his position and why I am mistaken as to any aspect of the law or facts I set forth in detail and in writing in the Motion for Sanctions.

       
  8. At this point, if I were Lozier I’d take my 401K and leave the country in shame. Astounding screw up at every turn. What is he really up to and why?

     
  9. Can they impeach Lozier? He sounds like a pretty dirty guy. Someone else needs to take all of this over!

     
  10. There will be 7,500 men working on the shell plant and new pipelines for years. The criminal gang who already controls gambling drugs and prostitution in beaver county must be salivating over the windfall they will get from the contractors. It is likely they will do anything including murder to preserve their stranglehold on the illegal markets. That explains why they don’t want state police investigating anything especially if local and county police are enforcers for the gang. Don’t hold your breath for a state police solution. They report to the governor who no doubt receives big ‘campaign contributions’ from the crime gang. Look for more unsolvable homicides and so-called suicides in the weeks ahead.

     
      • @gottadoit-You really don’t know squat, do you? What responder32 said is EXACTLY how it works in this county. Has been that way for at least 7 decades! PAY ATTENTION!

         
      • As an example-The PSP have known for DECADES the dirty deeds of the Betters-David-Unis families and have done NOTHING! Squat. Nada. Zippo. Not a fucking thing! The “Unholy Trinity” does whatever they want, when ever they want. PERIOD. The PSP is just as dirty as the local POPO’s.

         
      • KVR856- “They report to the governor who no doubt receives big ‘campaign contributions’ from the crime gang.” So for at least 7 decades All Pa. Governors REP/DEM have been involved in turning a blind eye to corruption …and murder if necessary … all … for campaign contributions ? Men working on the shell plant partake in illegal activity, drugs, gambling and prostitution. You’re right, Whore Houses on every corner, gambling parlors and speakeasy’s. I’ll give you the drugs. Drugs are rampant everywhere. From section 8 housing to the finest estates. Like any workplace, there will be a minority, if they can get away with it.
        You have thrown some names(Betters-David-Unis families) out there. It is obvious YOU have been PAYING ATTENTION, and are very much in the Know. Are you taking this proof to those who will be in charge of this investigation?

         
      • It don’t matter because Tom Wolf is done like these mopes in the courthouse. They are all out.

         
  11. What else would you expect from Loser…..Chasing ambulances in his private practice is no experience in being a DA…..I agree with the commenter that said he should grab his 401K and vanish. The amazing thing is that this is the best that the BC Republicans could find to run for this office.

     
  12. You go Benyo Sock it to em. Benyo stepped up to the plate to see that Justice is served. He takes his job very seriously and is obviously not afraid to speak up when he sees the Constitutional rights of a client have been violated. Look out Lozier unlike you Benyo is an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney. Go back to chasing ambulances. Take a seat and learn from this one. Quit running around town acting like you know WTF you are doing because you don’t. You are clueless. Your nothing but a DA in Training and Trained by the very same goons that Benyo vowed to get out of that courthouse when he was running for DA. Your a puppet on a string because you have no clue what you are doing. Your just following the leaders. Its a shame you have allowed yourself to be controlled by the corrupt.

     
  13. I didn’t think there could be a District Attorney worse than Baltimore City’s and then Lozier and this case came along.

     
  14. Lozier is the fucking DA for Christ sakes! He is not supposed to TRY to obey court orders…HE IS TO OBEY COURT ORDERS WITHOUT QUESTION! This was an illegal search. This fucking wackadoo job should have a mental evaluation before he touches anything that has to do with the legal operation of the DA office. He is the one that needs to be investigated and dismissed for being incapacitated and unable to properly administrate that office.

     
  15. If there was a gag order, why is Benyo commenting here? I think the feds ruined attorney/client privilege, unfortunately, on a national level. Good luck fighting for that it this county anymore. Where are new lawyers going?? Definitely not here.

     

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