Shook Pro Bono Team Seeks New Trials for Men Convicted of 1997 Murder

Shook lawyers are partnering with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project to gain new trials using modern DNA testing for three men who were arrested as teenagers and convicted of a murder in 1997. Shook lawyers say this new testing shows DNA found at the crime scene does not contain the DNA of the three young men convicted of the crime.

Shook Philadelphia Partners David Haase and John Lyons, trial lawyers who focus on business defense, have volunteered their time to help with the case. Haase explained to Fox 29 that while the crime scene was “brutal,” none of the blood, hair, fingerprints or semen samples tied the men to the murder. Lyons was interviewed by The Delaware County Daily Times.

“I think it’s an exceptional case,” said Lyons, who has spent eight years working on the matter. “As somebody from Delco who spent hundreds of hours on this case because I believe in it, I think these guys got a bad deal. They maintained their innocence and have basically been in prison all of their adult lives.”

CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Delaware County Daily Times and other media outlets are following the case. A Delaware County Judge will decide if there is enough evidence to vacate the sentences and order new trials.

UpdateThe Delaware County Court of Common Pleas vacated the murder convictions of all three men on March 28, 2024.