BROOKVILLE — A man serving a life sentence for killing a Brockway-area couple while robbing them of a rare coin collection has filed a Superior Court appeal — and his trial judge has filed an answer as to why it shouldn’t be granted.
The Bradford Era reports Steven Rebert, 46, of Emporium, contends Jefferson County Judge John Foradora was biased because he had earlier issued police search warrants in the case. Foradora said the warrants were proper and that trial evidence supported the probable cause for them.
The jury convicted Rebert of murdering James and Victoria Shugar in April 2010 at the couple’s Snyder Township home along Coal Tipple Road.
Victoria Shugar had been the owner of a flower shop in downtown Brockway for years. She died of a gunshot wound to the trunk, and James Shugar died of gunshot wounds to the neck and trunk, the coroner said.
Prosecutors had sought the death penalty during Rebert’s trial, but he was sentenced to life without parole after the jury deadlocked in the trial’s penalty phase.