Attorneys for Butler Township homicide suspect seek to move trial

Nov. 20—WILKES-BARRE — Attorneys representing homicide suspect Alan Jay Meyers charged in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old girl in August 2022, requested to move the venue to another county claiming immense news coverage has made it impossible to get a fair trial in Luzerne County.

Attorneys Matthew T. Muckler and William Stephens made the request in a recently filed pre-trial motion where they also seek to have the open count of criminal homicide charge be more defined, or entirely dismissed, including a gun offense.

Pennsylvania State Police at Hazleton charged Meyers, then 17, with fatally shooting Kassadey Matulevich inside her Sand Hollow Drive home in Butler Township on Aug. 27, 2022. Meyers and Matulevich, students at Hazleton Area, were involved in a relationship that apparently turned sour when Meyers began talking to a 14-year-old girl, according to court records.

Meyers’ trial on the open count of criminal homicide, illegal possession of a firearm by a minor and two counts of tampering with evidence is scheduled for June 2024, before Luzerne County President Judge Michael T. Vough.

Jury selection is tentatively set for May 31, 2024.

In their pre-trial motion, Muckler and Stephens sought to preclude prosecutors from pursuing first-, second-, and/or third-degree murder, claiming there is insufficient evidence to present those offenses before a jury.

With the open count of criminal homicide, Muckler and Stephens stated in their motion they are “unable to prepare and defend” the allegations as Meyers has been provided no specifics as to which classification of criminal homicide is alleged.

Muckler and Stephens are also seeking information about strategy whether prosecutors plan to argue if the shooting was intentional with malice.

Citing extensive news coverage of the shooting, Muckler and Stephens say a brief internet search returns multiple media stories including pictures and videos showing Meyers handcuffed and shackled.

Most concerning, Muckler and Stephens wrote in their motion, were a host of negative and vitriolic comments attached to media stories.

Believing a fair trial can not be attained in Luzerne County, Muckler and Stephens are seeking to move the trial to another county or select a jury from another county.

Vough has scheduled a pre-trial motions hearing for Feb. 2.

Meyers, 18, is jailed without bail at the county correctional facility.

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