- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Superior Court panel says the death penalty is still an option when a man is retried in the death of a central Pennsylvania woman.

The Altoona Mirror reports (https://bit.ly/1RECBz4) attorneys for Paul Aaron Ross wanted the panel to review a Blair County decision permitting the death penalty in Ross’ retrial. The defense says that would be double jeopardy because the trial jury rejected the death penalty and sentenced Ross to life in prison. The prosecution contends the original jury never settled that issue.

Ross was found guilty in 2005 of murdering Tina Miller, of Hollidaysburg, at Canoe Creek State Park. When the appeals court in 2012 ordered a retrial on other issues, Ross objected to facing the death penalty again.

But the appellate panel says the jury deadlocked on a sentence, despite writing on a piece of paper “the verdict is life” because they hadn’t checked the “life sentence” box on the verdict form.

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Information from: Altoona Mirror, https://www.altoonamirror.com

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