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Accused Tyrone child killer still looking at January trial date

Accused child killer Nathan Shaw is still looking at a January trial date after arguments were presented in his death penalty case in Blair County Court yesterday.
Shaw is accused of killing six-year-old Jared Klein in Tyrone on the day after Christmas last year. Shaw was arrested on murder and other charges in January of this year. He was apprehended in Kay County, OK two days after the murder of the young Tyrone boy.
Authorities in Oklahoma held Shaw on $1 million bond for several days before agreeing to allow his return to Pennsylvania on a parole violation. He was charged with murder on the day of his return to Pennsylvania in January of this year.
Shaw was held without bail at Blair County Prison after his arraignment and was remanded to Blair County Prison after a preliminary hearing in late January. A notice of aggravated circumstances was filed in the case on March 3. Shaw plead not guilty to the charges at his formal arraignment that same day.
District Attorney Richard Consiglio told The Daily Herald yesterday that the judge in the case, Judge Daniel Million, is not going to make any decision about moving the trial to another county until the time of jury selection in Blair County scheduled for January 8. That would only happen if the judge ruled an impartial jury could not be seated in Blair County.
DA Consiglio said the defense would be granted the time it needed regarding other issues pertaining to the case. He did say the case was still expected to proceed as close as possible to the jury selection date and a trial date of Jan. 16.
Defense Attorney Stephen Passarello was appointed by the court to handle death penalty issues in the case. He is seeking two evaluations regarding Shaw. One of the evaluations is to determine Shaw’s mental capacity. Under Pennsylvania law, a person determined to be mentally retarded cannot receive the death penalty.
Passarello is also seeking to have a mitigation specialist interview Shaw. The evaluation must be conducted before the trial and will come into play during a death penalty phase in the case if there is one. The specialist is used to argue mitigating circumstances while prosecutors seek to prove aggravating circumstances. Passarello said he had submitted a specialist’s name to the court, but it has already been determined that specialist would be unable to complete the evaluation in time to keep the trial on track for its January date.
Passarello said he will submit two other names to the court. The judge will have to allow the evaluations to proceed and appoint the specialists. It is possible the trial could be delayed if the specialists can’t complete their work by the January trial date.
Passarello has also asked for two juries. One would be to determine Shaw’s guilt and the other regarding the death penalty. He said the judge had not made a determination on that issue.
Jurors will also be death-qualified and life-qualified. Essentially, prospective jurors will be asked if they have an opinion on the penalty, what it is and if that opinion would affect their judgment.
Shaw also faces charges of assaulting the boy’s mother at the Pennsylvania Avenue apartment where Klein’s murder took place.
Shaw was moved from Blair County Prison to SCI Houtzdale after an alleged assault against a corrections officer at the prison in September. Since then he has been transferred to SCI Dallas in Luzerne County.