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Man Challenging Murder Conviction Due To Judge's Coke Use

WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) - A man is challenging his third-degree murder conviction in the 1977 slaying of his pregnant ex-girlfriend because the judge at his trial was known to be using cocaine stolen from evidence at the time.

Fifty-eight-year-old Robert Urwin Jr., of Dunleavy, is appealing his conviction four years ago at a non-jury trial presided over by then-Washington County Judge Paul Pozonsky.

Pozonsky has since resigned and is scheduled to be sentenced July 13 for theft and other charges for stealing cocaine from evidence files that were kept in his chambers.

The (Washington) Observer-Reporter says Urwin contends Pozonsky's cocaine use made him incapable of presiding over the trial, which included complex DNA evidence used to link Urwin to the killing of 16-year-old Mary Gency in February 1977.

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(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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