ND Supreme Court hears second Shaw appeal

ND Supreme Court hears second Shaw appeal Click to Enlarge

The North Dakota Supreme Court on Monday heard the appeal of Delvin Shaw, who was convicted of the 2014 murder of Jose Lopez in a Grand Forks apartment building.

Shaw was originally found guilty in 2015, but the Supreme Court reversed it, and ruled for a new trial, saying the District Court misapplied the law on an evidentiary matter relating to Shaw’s alleged involvement in a burglary that happened in the same building, a few days before Lopez’s murder.

Witness Dametrian Welch testified about the earlier burglary at the first trial, but refused to testify at the second trial. The court allowed his testimony from the first trial to be read into the record. Shaw acted as his own attorney.

On Monday, Shaw’s attorney Benjamin Pulkrabek said that testimony should not have been allowed.

"It just seems to me when someone comes to court and they don't testify, it's really a kind of area of the law that's tough on a defendant" Pulkrabek said. "The prosecutor's got the most power."

Attorney Jodi Bass of Grand Forks, representing the state, disagreed.

"Had Mr. Shaw wanted to put Mr. Welch up on the stand again, to try to get him testify, he could have," Bass said. "He had the power to ask the court to issue a subpoena. He had the power to call another witness and he didn't."

Shaw was convicted for Lopez’s murder after the second trial.

The high court took the arguments under advisement.

Supreme Court Judge Jon Jensen presided in Shaw’s first two cases as a district judge, but recused himself from today’s hearing. North Central District Judge Gary Lee took his place.

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