CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Douglas W. Herman on Friday established a "cooling-off" period in the death penalty case of Michael Brandon Singley, ordering the penalty phase to be continued until the January trial term.
"The judge said a cooling-off period would be appropriate considering the extensive publicity" from a degree of guilt hearing held Tuesday, said Public Defender Robert J. Trambley, who is representing Singley with co-counsel Michael Toms.
Herman found Singley guilty of first-degree murder at the hearing in the Nov. 3, 1998, shooting of James Gilliam, 39, of Chambersburg. Singley, 24, of Chambersburg, had previously pleaded guilty on Aug. 15 to first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Christine Rohrer, 23, which occurred the same night.
The continuance was granted following a pre-trial conference Friday morning, said Trambley and District Attorney John F. Nelson. Jury selection was to have begun Monday, with the penalty phase set to begin Oct. 2.