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MERCER Judge denies appeal of murder conviction



Published: Tue, July 17, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Ronald Fuller was convicted of shooting to death a 13-year-old boy.

MERCER, Pa. -- A Mercer County Common Pleas Court judge has ruled that Ronald Fuller -- the man convicted last year of shooting to death a 13-year-old boy at a Farrell home May 29, 1999 -- is guilty of first-degree murder and other offenses related to that crime.

In a written opinion filed July 3, Judge Michael Wherry ruled Fuller's conviction of those offenses should stand and the grounds Fuller raised on appeal of his conviction "are without merit."

Fuller had claimed prosecutorial misconduct and the knowing use of perjured testimony by the state as grounds to overrule the conviction.

Fuller also was convicted of burglary, possession of a prohibited offensive weapon and possession of an instrument of crime in the shotgun slaying of Jeremy Farrand in the home where Jeremy was staying on Prindle Street.

Death: Jeremy died when he was hit in the neck by a shotgun blast as he walked from the living room to the kitchen of the home to investigate a noise at the back door around 1 a.m.

On March 31, 2000, a jury convicted Fuller, but he appealed that verdict.

Under Pennsylvania law, the jury that convicted him was to decide whether he should be put to death by lethal injection or spend the rest of his life in prison without parole. The jury of four women and eight men were unable to agree on the penalty, however, and Judge Wherry dismissed them.

By law, the judge was required to sentence Fuller to life in prison on the murder charge.




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