New trial rejected in 2004 Fayette slaying
UNIONTOWN (AP) – A judge has rejected a new trial for a death row inmate convicted in the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend a decade ago.
Attorneys for 64-year-old James VanDivner Jr. of Brownsville argued in Fayette County Court that police failed to interview witnesses who might have helped his case.
Senior Judge Gerald Solomon also rejected a defense contention that VanDivner is mentally disabled and therefore ineligible for the death penalty.
Prosecutors said VanDivner killed 41-year-old Michelle Cable outside her Jefferson Township home in July 2004 and also wounded her teenage son.
Assistant District Attorney Doug Sepic said VanDivner received a fair trial. He called the defendant “a cold-blooded murderer” and said justice won’t be fully served until the defendant “takes his last breath ... in the death chamber at SCI Rockview.”