A York City man serving a life sentence for the 2009 killing of 9-year-old Ciara "CeCe" Savage during a drive-by shooting is asking for a new trial.
Nigel Ali Maitland, who was 19 at the time of the shooting, claims he did not receive adequate representation by his trial attorney, Vincent Spadafora, and his pre-trial attorney, York County Public Defender Bruce Blocher.
However, York County Common Pleas Judge Richard K. Renn struck down a series of Maitland's complaints during a continued post-conviction appeal hearing on Monday.
Some of the claims Renn denied include that Spadafora didn't object to a juror who, during jury selection, said she had heard about the shooting, but only that a young girl had died during a shooting on Mother's Day 2009.
The judge did, however, give Maitland and his new attorney, Heather Reiner, until Aug. 8 to review witness testimony and statements to police that have what Maitland called inconsistencies.
Maitland, now 24, said co-defendant Fernando "J" Valentin Jr. gave York City Police numerous versions of the shooting.
"He gave about five different inconsistent statements to police," Maitland said during the appeal hearing.
Valentin testified against Maitland at his murder trial, during which Spadafora told jurors Maitland admitted he fired a gun the day of the shooting, but that it was in self-defense.
Maitland, along with Valentin and a second co-defendant, were identified during the trial as being part of the Parkway gang and their intended targets were part of the Southside gang.
Another witness, Mariah Johnson-Skibber, gave a statement to police about the shooting based on what she heard from other witnesses, Maitland said, citing case evidence. But during the trial, Johnson-Skibber testified that she saw the shooting and identified Maitland as the shooter.
Maitland says Spadafora, who testified Monday via a telephone from his office in Texas, should have raised issue with Valentin's statements to police and Johnson-Skibber's statement and testimony.
However, Spadafora said Valentin's testimony was beneficial to Maitland.
"His testimony on direct actually helped my (former) client," he said.
Maitland's appeal hearing has been continued.
- Reach Greg Gross at email@example.com.