A Chester man should be convicted of first degree murder because he intended to kill a University student when he shot him in a December 1989 brawl, Delaware County prosecutors claimed at a hearing Friday. Assistant District Attorney Jay Mattera attempted to prove the prosecution's assertion by calling the doctor who conducted former Engineering freshman Tyrone Robertson's autopsy to the stand. Delaware County Medical Examiner Dimitri Contostavlos was the first witness to be called in the first day of a "degree of guilt" hearing for Robertson's admitted murderer Arnold Butcher. Mattera tried to show that the 18-year-old Butcher intended to kill Robertson by having Contostavlos explain how Robertson died. Mattera said he felt that the medical examiner's testimony helped the prosecution because it showed that Butcher meant to kill Robertson when he shot at him, because the bullet hit the side of the buttock region, not in the fatty area in back, which is perceived to be a less life-threatening area of the body. He said that in about an hour of testimony, Contostavlos provided the medical details in the death of the 18-year-old Robertson. According to the assistant DA, the medical examiner described how a .44 caliber bullet entered Robertson through the side of the right buttock and severed the iliac artery, causing exsanguination, or bleeding to death. Mattera said Contostavlos's testimony "established that the severing of artery by a bullet was damage to a vital area of the body." Last Thursday Butcher made an "open plea" of guilt to Robertson's murder. Under the open plea, the judge holds a "degree of guilt" hearing to decide if Butcher committed first or third-degree murder when he shot Robertson. If Butcher is convicted of first degree murder, he will receive a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. If convicted of third degree murder, he may be sentenced to five to 40 years in prison and pay a fine of up to $50,000. The hearing will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday with additional witnesses for the prosecution.Comments powered by Disqus
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