Man con­victed of hir­ing killer wants a new trial

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - LOCAL - By DAN CLARK

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.

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