Man convicted of hiring killer wants a new trial
COURTHOUSE — The man convicted of putting a $10,000 contract on a 34-year-old Norristown man has filed paperwork with the clerk of courts asking for a new trial or that his conviction and sentence be vacated.
According to court documents filed by court-appointed attorney Henry Hilles on behalf of Tyuan Simon, 33, formerly of Norristown, the trial against Simon was unfair and the judge erred by allowing evidence in that unfairly prejudiced jurors during the trial.
The motion contends the decision of the court to allow the prosecution to introduce evidence of prior bad acts during Simon’s trial in June 2013.
Hilles cites testimony by a former girlfriend of Simon, whom prosecutors asked about instances of prior abuse. Court documents state she said that Simon once choked her and allegedly said, “I could kill you today and no one would know.”
The motion says the witness would later say in court Simon’s eyes were “real red” and that “he looked like the devil.”
Hilles argues the prior bad act, which he said was unproven in court, made the jurors believe he was guilty of the crime, even though it was a separate incident.
“To make matters worse, the commonwealth witness testified that the defendant’s eyes were ‘real red’ like ‘the devil,’” Hilles wrote. “There is literally no other word in American society that would be more prejudicial than ‘devil.’”
Because the judge permitted the prior bad act to be admitted into evidence, Hissil stated, “it is further urged that the Honorable Court reverse the conviction of the Defendant and grant him a new trial.”
The motion also calls into question the testimony of the man who pleaded guilty to actually shooting 34-year-old Tryee Whiting.
Bruce Woods, who was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison on Jan. 6, testified at Simon’s trial that Simon offered him $10,000 to kill Whiting. He would later say that he was never given the money offered for the hit.
“The problem with the case is that there is little, if any, evidence to corroborate the existence of such an agreement. There is no written agreement and no evidence of any material payment on the part of the Defendant,” Hilles wrote.
Hilles argued Simon was surprised about the killing.
“Indeed, a fair reading of the evidence suggests that the Defendant was as surprised as anyone when it became evident that Mr. Woods had killed the victim,” he wrote in the motion.
Ultimately, Hilles and Simon believe they have enough evidence for a re-trial. A response to the motion yet to be filed.
The shooting took place Oct. 19, 2010, on the 1100 block of Swede Street.
Simon was convicted of firstand third-degree murder, criminal solicitation to commit murder and criminal conspiracy to commit murder after a weeklong jury trial in June.