High court denies appeal in ’99 killing

November 30, 2012

A Waynesburg man serving a life sentence for the fatal stabbing of a friend of his estranged wife 13 years ago continues to file various appeals, and the state’s appellate courts continue to deny them.

The latest denial came Tuesday when the state Supreme Court denied George Cameron’s petition for allowance of appeal of a Superiot Court ruling denying a motion to quash the complaint and indictment filed by Cameron of Waynesburg, twice convicted by Greene County Court juries for the Aug. 4, 1999, slaying of David Cumberledge, 24, also of Waynesburg.

Cumberledge was stabbed when the two became involved in a fight outside the apartment of Cameron’s wife at 291 E. High St., Waynesburg. Cameron’s wife had filed for a divorce a week before the slaying.

Cameron is now serving a life sentence at the State Correctional Institution at Houtzdale in Clearfield County.

On Feb. 28, 2007, Cameron filed his first petition for post-conviction relief under the Post Conviction Relief Act with Greene County Court, which denied his petition Aug. 14, 2009, a decision affirmed by the Superior Court July 29, 2010.

Then, March 30, 2011, which was more than five years after Cameron’s judgment of sentence became final, he filed the motion to quash with the local court, claiming the trial court did not have jurisdiction to try him for murder as the criminal complaint cited law from “revised statute books which contain no enacting clauses.”

According to Cameron, since the criminal complaint did not cite a valid law, “the complaint charged (Cameron) with no crime and the trial court did not have jurisdiction to try” him for murder.

On May 25, 2011, the local court denied Cameron’s motion to quash on the merits, and Cameron proceeded to file his appeal with the Superior Court July 20, 2011.

The appellate court, in its ruling, said “(Cameron’s) notice of appeal was manifestly untimely.”

Before this latest round of appeals, the state Supreme Court declined to hear Cameron’s appeal for a new trial in December 2005.

A jury first found Cameron guilty of murder in 2000, but that conviction was subsequently thrown out on appeal. In the appeal, the state Superior Court found the trial court erred when it denied a defense motion to introduce an audio tape of Cameron’s confession. Instead of playing the tape, police officers paraphrased the confession. If the jury would have heard the tape, it might have concluded the confession was involuntary and chosen to ignore it, the court said in granting Cameron a new trial.

Cameron’s second trial, held in July 2003, ended with the same first-degree murder conviction. In that trial, prosecutors did not introduce the confession and focused on other evidence against Cameron.



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