New trial rejected in 2004 Fayette slaying

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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.”


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