Crime

Chisley, Heichel have appeals denied

There will be no new hearing for Lavon Dewayne Chisley.

The 30-year-old former Penn State football player was convicted of the stabbing death of Langston Carraway in 2007 after a five-day trial.

On Wednesday, Centre County Judge Jonathan Grine denied a motion under the Pennsylvania Post-conviction Collateral Relief Act.

Chisley filed the motion, claiming ineffectiveness of counsel. His attorney did not call character witnesses or present expert testimony to refute the prosecution.

He also claimed racial bias. The jury in Chisley’s case was all white. Chisley is black.

Grine dismissed the motion without a hearing. A previous appeal, on grounds including insufficient evidence, had been dismissed by the state Superior Court.

“This marks the final major challenge this defendant could mount against his conviction. We are pleased to see finality to such a serious matter as a homicide case where an innocent life was taken,” said District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller in a statement.

Chisley is serving a life sentence at Smithfield state prison in Huntingdon.

Parks Miller’s office also announced the September decision by Grine to deny a PCRA from Ronald Heichel.

Heichel was convicted in 2011 of the 2009 murder of Samuel Boob, prompted by Boob’s wife, Mirinda.

At a hearing in October, Heichel went on a rant against his current counsel, Charles Kroboth, and former counsel, Casey McClain, railing against Judge Pamela Ruest and claiming the jury was tainted. He also claimed state police tampered with evidence and that he was denied the chance to testify by McClain. An alternative shooter theory was also advanced.

Grine said the possibility of another strategy for trial did not make counsel ineffective and dismissed the PCRA motion without a hearing. A similar motion from Mirinda Boob was denied in 2014.

“While family members of murder victims suffer never ending loss, convicted defendants can seek various levels of challenges to convictions. This denial marks the last of the major challenges Heichel had to his murder conviction. At some point, victims deserve finality to the process to truly obtain closure and we are happy to be at that point on this case,” Parks Miller said in her statement.

Heichel is serving a life sentence at Mahanoy state prison in Schuylkill County. Mirinda Boob is serving the same sentence at Muncy state prison.

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