An appeals court has ordered a Beaver County judge to hold an evidentiary hearing for convicted killer Sheldon Jeter Jr. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania ruled Judge Kim Tesla erred when he denied a request by defense attorneys to conduct a hearing following Jeter’s trial to explore allegations of juror misconduct.
A jury found Jeter guilty of first-degree murder in June 2021 for the May 2020 shooting death of Tyric Pugh, a close family friend.
According to his defense attorneys, Jeter also remains a suspect in the 2018 Mother’s Day killing of school teacher Rachael DelTondo of Aliquippa; Jeter has denied any involvement in her murder and Beaver County Detectives have not made an arrest in the 5-year-old case.
Following Jeter’s conviction in the Pugh case, his attorneys approached Judge Tesla with several accusations of potential misconduct by one of the jurors who convicted him.
Specifically, attorneys alleged that Juror #3 had been a neighbor of Deltondo, and was therefore literally too close to her highly publicized murder to not have developed at least a subconscious bias about Jeter. They also alleged that discussions about DelTondo’s murder between spectators in the gallery during the Pugh trial may have been overheard by jurors and improperly influenced them.