A Butler man, charged with homicide in connection with the death of a 4-year-old boy as well as an attempted escape from the Butler County Prison, tried to have his charges tossed in Butler County Court on Monday.
County Judge Timothy McCune heard arguments regarding both cases from attorneys for Keith Jordan Lambing, 20, who was charged with first-degree homicide and related charges in the death of 4-year-old Bentley Thomas Miller on March 21, as well as an attempted escape charge from an incident on March 28.
Chief Public Defender Kevin Flaherty, in a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, argued that at the time of the preliminary hearing on April 27, the Commonwealth presented no testimony supporting the element of specific intent, making first-degree homicide an inappropriate charge.
Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger previously said his office is seeking the death penalty against Lambing. First-degree homicide is the only degree of homicide that can carry the death penalty.
Public Defender Joseph Smith, who is representing Lambing on the escape case, argued that the Commonwealth “has failed to show any evidence that the defendant had the 'firm intent to commit the crime of escape,'” in the petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in that case.
McCune issued an order giving both sides 30 days to file briefs in support of their arguments.