New trial ordered for 1 of 2 brothers in 1998 York slayings
People walk by the Pennsylvania Judicial Center Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
(York) — A missing word in jury instructions has prompted a judge to order a new trial in the case of one of two brothers originally sentenced to death in a double murder two decades ago.
The York Daily Record reports that a judge used the word “guilty” rather than “not guilty” in the trial of Noel Montalvo, who was convicted of first- and second-degree murder, conspiracy and burglary.
Common Pleas Judge Michael Bortner wrote Feb. 11 that it was clearly the judge “misspeaking” but he was compelled to grant now-54-year-old Montalvo a new trial. Defense attorney Jeff Marshall says he expects prosecutors to appeal.
In 2017, a judge threw out the death penalty against 56-year-old Milton Montalvo in the 1998 slayings. The case is on appeal before the state Supreme Court.