COLLATERAL RELIEF HEARING
LANCASTER – Jakeem Towles, through his attorney Teri B. Himebaugh, is in Lancaster Courtroom #3 before Judge Howard Knisely today seeking relief from the death sentence he received after being found guilty of shooting and killing Cornell “Young E-Z” Stewart in Columbia on May 7, 2010.
Towles is arguing that he should have taken the stand in his own defense during his trial and the testimony of Dr. Gerald Cooke, a forensic psychologist from Plymouth Meeting, PA who interviewed Towles, should have been presented during his trial. Dr. Cooke testified this morning.
Five witnesses took the stand this morning and testimony will continue after the lunch break with Towles’ defense attorney during his June 2012 trial, Samuel Encarnacion, on the stand. Encarnacion handled the guilt portion of his trial while Patricia Kay Spotts handled the penalty phase of his trial – the decision of death or life in jail following the jury’s verdict on guilt. She testified this morning.
There were two videos taken the night of the murder, one by Robert Sanders who testified this morning and the second by Jerry Puryear, who requested an attorney because he has criminal charges pending against him and he did not testify.
The jury came back with a verdict of death for Towles on June 11, 2012