EBENSBURG – Cambria County Judge David J. Tulowitzki approved the request for a 60-day extension in the post-conviction relief request of a Fulton County man who was found guilty in connection with the 2015 fatal shooting of 22-year-old Thomas Peebles.
Stanley Leo Spriggs, 66, of McConnellsburg, was one of three men convicted in connection with the incident at Building 5 of Johnstown’s Solomon Homes on July 18, 2015.
Perry Henderson, 49, of Mount Union, and Spriggs were found guilty of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, robbery and related conspiracy charges in February 2017.
A third co-defendant, Kenneth Odell Simmons, entered a guilty plea to third-degree murder in 2016, testified at the trial of Spriggs and Henderson, and was sentenced to 11 to 25 years in state prison.
While the commonwealth entered a motion that Spriggs’ PCRA request was not filed within one year of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s 2019 denial to appeal in an effort to put it on the record, it did not motion to prevent Monday’s hearing or the extension granted by Tulowitzki from happening, allowing the record to remain open.
Spriggs’ previous counsel, Matthew Dombrosky, of Altoona, testified during a cross examination that he had consulted with Spriggs twice about his testimony during
the 2017 trial, listing pros and cons, but ultimately leaving it up to his client, who opted to not testify during the hearing which he shared with Henderson.
Henderson was also found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Dombrosky also noted during his cross examination on Monday, which lasted approximately 15 minutes, that his defense strategy during the trial involved lessening Spriggs’ involvement during the incident.
Dombrosky said that he argued at the trial that Spriggs did not arrange the robbery nor did he leave his vehicle while the shooting happened, and to bring in a second DNA expert to explain that DNA matching Spriggs’ could have been on weapons used during the shooting through secondary transcription and that Spriggs did not operate any of the firearms during the incident.
Spriggs, who appeared via videoconferencing software from SCI-Rockview in Bellefonte, Centre County, did not speak during the hearing.