CLEARFIELD – A man convicted of killing his wife in 1995 and recently granted a re-trial was found guilty by a jury of his peers of first-degree murder on Wednesday.
Jack E. Allen’s case was sent back to Clearfield County after it was found that Allen had not been property informed of his rights in representing himself the first time around. According to Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. Clearfield County had until mid-January to handle Allen’s appellate issue or he would be released.
Testimony in the trial began on Monday and lasted until Tuesday afternoon. Witnesses ranged from experts who said they saw Allen shoot his wife Theresa Allen in the back to experts who examined her body.
During closing arguments, Allen questioned why Shaw brought up the issues of the child support payment and order put into record on July 7, 1995, and the child custody order of July 19, 1995. Shaw stated during his closing that on July 7, Allen purchased the shotgun and on July 19, he used it. Shaw argued the shooting was premeditated, and that those above instances, coupled with Theresa Allen tearing up a card he got for her and not accepting roses Allen gave to her sent him over the edge.
At one point during Shaw’s closing, Allen jumped up with papers in his hand. He said that he had proof he was innocent in the transcripts from a previous hearing. Sheriff’s deputies converged, and Allen took his seat.
The jury deliberated for close to an hour before their decision was read by Clearfield County Judge Fredric J. Ammerman. Allen was found guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person. For sentencing purposes, the aggravated assault charge merged with the murder charge.
During this period sheriff’s deputies stood watch over Allen.
Allen was also sentenced after the trial to life in state prison for the murder of his wife. He also received a one- to two-year sentence to run concurrent to the previous sentence for the reckless endangerment charge, which involves bystanders who were in the area when Allen shot his wife at Lawrence Park Village.
“We’re extremely pleased with the outcome of the trial,” said Shaw afterward.
Shaw said that it was unfortunate the case had to be tried again, but that it was important step to make sure justice was served.
Shaw commended those involved, and noted that the case was a combined effort between the Lawrence Township and Clearfield Borough police separtments, the Clearfield County sheriff’s office, and the Pennsylvania State Police. He added that a lot of personal time went into this case both on the part of the officers and his office.
Shaw said that he expects appeals, but that he does not believe any of them will be successful.
“The family deserves closure and finality,” said Shaw. “Hopefully after today they will have that.”