District Attorney David Lozier / submitted

A Beaver County judge this week ordered that some search warrant information be released in the case of a county jail inmate who allegedly received details of Rachael DelTondo’s murder.

New court filings reveal county detectives seized defense documents pertaining to the inmate’s unrelated criminal case during a raid of his jail cell, directly contradicting county District Attorney David Lozier’s statements to reporters that no such documents had been taken.

A judge will soon decide whether sanctions against Lozier are warranted.

Wayne Cordes, 21, of Hopewell Township is in jail awaiting trial on 13 felony and misdemeanor charges for allegedly assaulting and robbing a man in Aliquippa on Oct. 26. Cordes told BeaverCountian.com that he got a letter detailing the killing just days after the May 13 Aliquippa murder. Investigative reporting by this publication has since called into question the authenticity of the letter.

On May 29, Aliquippa police and county detectives executed a sealed search warrant in Cordes’ cell, removing part of the letter from a Bible. Cordes’ mother told BeaverCountian.com that her son had given the other half of the letter to his attorney Gerald Benyo Jr.

The jail cell search is one of two known sealed 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.

Benyo filed a motion with the court, saying the law required the officers 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.

Benyo also accused Lozier, who ordered the search, of violating Cordes’ Constitutional rights because he failed to direct the officers not to confiscate confidential attorney-client records.

The officers did just that, Benyo wrote, taking all of Cordes’ records and personal notes pertaining to his unrelated case.

District Attorney Lozier told BeaverCountian.com last week that Benyo’s assertions were “baseless” and told the Beaver County Times the attorney’s claims were “frivolous,” insisting items taken from the jail cell were within the scope of a sealed search warrant and did not relate to Cordes’ upcoming trial.

The county court of common pleas ordered the clerk of courts this week to unseal the application for the search warrant and authorization, which called for “any and all correspondences or letters from one (redacted name) to Wayne Cordes.”

The court ruled that “good cause exists” for redacting the name and for sealing the affidavit of probable cause because it “would defeat an ongoing criminal investigation that is unrelated to this case.”

The judge also unsealed the inventory list of taken property, which shows county detectives seized far more than letters from the unnamed person, including “numerous handwritten notes & documentation.”

In court documents filed by the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office after the unsealing of the inventory list, prosecutors admit defense materials related to Cordes’ trial were in fact seized by county detectives, directly contradicting Lozier’s statements to the press.

The Beaver County District Attorney’s Office now argues in court filings that even though it did seize defense materials from the inmate’s jail cell, it did not violate his Constitutional rights because the notes he wrote about his case do not in its view constitute “attorney-client communications.”

“The Commonwealth denies the notations of a defendant while in jail that were never sent to his attorney meets the definition of a ‘communication’ because such writings were never ‘made’ to anyone, including the defendant’s attorney. Moreover, this Defendant’s statement that he intended or planned to send those notations to his attorney sometime in the future does not convert them into a ‘communication.'”

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. He wrote that it is now impossible for Cordes to have a fair trial.

Prosecutors insist they have not read any of the defense documentation they seized from Cordes’ cell.

The court will hear July 9 whether sanctions against county District Attorney Lozier are warranted in the case.

Inventory sheet from county detectives’ search of Wayne Cordes’ jail cell

See Also:

State Police And Witnesses Contradict Statements By District Attorney About Ongoing Investigations

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

Discrepancy Discovered In DelTondo Murder Letter Mystery

Defense Attorney Seeks Sanctions Against District Attorney Lozier Over DelTondo Murder Letter Raid

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

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Disgruntled
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Disgruntled

“Prosecutors insist they have not read any of the defense documentation they seized from Cordes’ cell.”

Yeah, but did they pinkie promise, cross their hearts, hope to die, and stick needles in their eyes?

Lies, lies, and more lies from the DA’s office. Lozier is a fascist, plain and simple.

sky
Guest
sky

Personally saw Asst DA yell for her ‘helper’ to get a girl shooting heroin out of the bathroom so she could ‘Hurry” and take the stand as a witness for her saying, “Tell her to hurry up and finish and get in here”. Trust me when I say they are walking hollow bodies. NOTHING inside, no convictions, no conscience, no guilt, no shame. They read EVERYTHING and probably took way more than that inventory list.

economyresident
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economyresident

Best lie of the day : ”Prosecutors insist they have not read any of the defense documentation they seized from Cordes’ cell.”

rick
Member
rick

In beaver county you will not get a fair trial. This court house is definitely mess up.

sky
Guest
sky

True. Was also told by a top attorney in Allegheny County, “you could me mother teresa, and you will still LOSE. It does NOT matter what your story is, what your case is about, it is ALL in who you know and who your connections are. I have NEVER lost a case but I would lose everytime in BC because I am in no way connected to any of them.” I understand that unfortunately this is common ground, sadly, but there are A LOT more people that know of and have heard of the BC life across the USA than you realize and not just because of our athletic and theatrical talents that come out of our town.

Watcher
Guest
Watcher

True, Sky! I worked for a prominant, well-known Beaver County law firm. They knew their outcome before they went into court. They discussed it with the judge on the golf course prior to the court date. The sad thing is, their clients think they are credible and diligently working on their case for all those hours billed at $300+ each., when in reality there is no time spent on their case…..just a quick stop in to see the judge one day prior to the court case.

Mungo Jerry
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Mungo Jerry

So nice to go through life with a reasonable expectation that the individuals hired, and elected to uphold the law and be truthful and Constitutional in their job capacities should regularly and wantonly shit all over such a basic concept!….Sarc/off! Please Mr Benyo hand this slack jawed, conviction lacking bufoon his ass in court!

equalizer13
Member
equalizer13

Right on Mungo Man

John Q Taxpayer
Member
John Q Taxpayer

Lozier needs to be impeached. Illegal search and seizure. Fake investigations of Javens and others in the courthouse or failing to investigate all together. Incapable, incompetent, out of control and not to mention breach of oath. Did he take files from Mr. Benyo’s office regarding any other clients? Because if he did I want to file a suit against Lozier and the county. Governor Wolf and Josh Shapiro should send State Troopers to drag him out of there.

sky
Guest
sky

how about #3 conveniently missed that lists all of Cordes handwritten notes and documentation.