Former prisoner dies, civil suit continues | News, Sports, Jobs

Kevin C. Siehl, a Johnstown man who won his release from a life sentence – after a judge found the evidence used to convict him of the 1992 murder of his wife was tainted – is deceased, but his trial against the prosecutors and police who brought the charges against him will continue.

“This case will continue” said Siehl’s Philadelphia attorney, Jonathan H. Feinberg, who filed a civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Johnstown on Siehl’s behalf four years ago.

“Mr. Siehl’s son, Kevin C. Siehl II (of Windber), is pursuing the case on behalf of his father’s estate, and Mr. Siehl’s entire family intends to pursue full liability for which Mr. Siehl fought for so long,” Feinberg said Thursday.

Feinberg’s statement came just days after U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan, who was assigned the case by U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson, granted a request allowing the son, as a administrator of Siehl’s estate, to become the plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Under federal law, Feinberg argued,“the court may order the replacement of the successor or the representative of the deceased”.

No trial date has been set.

Siehl, who was 66 when he died in March, has been arrested for the murder of his estranged wife, Christine.

Although Christine Siehl and her husband were separated, they still went on a date on the evening of July 13, 1991.

Kevin Siehl said he took his wife to his apartment after their date and then went to his parents’ house for the night.

Christine Siehl’s body was found in her shower the following day after tenants complained that water was coming from her apartment.

She had been stabbed twenty times.

Kevin Siehl has denied any involvement in the murder and maintained that he was at his parents’ home at the time of his wife’s death.

The inquest into the death was led by Johnstown police officers Angelo Cancellieri and Lawrenace Wagner. They were assisted by State Police personnel Merrill Brant and Scott Ermlick.

Police concluded that Siehl killed his wife, and the case was prosecuted by Cambria County District Attorney David Tulowitzki, who is now a Court of Common Pleas judge, and Assistant District Attorney David Lovette.

These six people are named as the defendants in the lawsuit.

After his conviction and life sentence without parole, Siehl filed repeated appeals.

With the help of the Innocence Project, Siehl was able to successfully challenge the evidence that was used to convict him.

Center County Senior Judge David Grine in 2016 overturned Siehl’s conviction and life sentence.

The Pennsylvania attorney general decided not to try Siehl again.

The lawsuit argues that some of the evidence and police reports used to convict Siehl were fabricated and exculpatory evidence was withheld.

The defendants disputed these findings.

The civil suit has been progressing slowly in Federal Court for more than four years.

A lawsuit has been delayed as insurance companies battle among themselves over who will end up paying if Siehl’s estate is entitled to damages.

An attempt to resolve the case through mediation failed last September.

Last year, Johnstown police received a telephone tip that someone other than Kevin Siehl may have killed Christine.

Cambria County authorities asked Blair County District Attorney Pete Weeks to appoint an investigator to investigate the tip.

Weeks, who said Thursday he was happy to cooperate with Cambria officials, had a detective from his office interview the people mentioned in the tip.

“It didn’t really reveal anything substantial,” he said Thursday.

The Siehl lawsuit argues that his 25 years behind bars resulted in his poor health.

He got out of jail with “serious heart problems” allegedly due to delayed medical treatment, and he had vision problems resulting from being headbutted by another inmate.

Siehl is survived by a son and a daughter, two grandchildren, two great-granddaughters and a brother.

Today’s breaking news and more to your inbox

Leave a Reply