The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

September 17, 2013

Closing arguments set in Basilone murder trial

By Tom Davidson
Herald Staff Writer

MERCER COUNTY — Closing arguments will be made this afternoon as Joshua Stewart's murder trial wraps up.

Stewart, 20 is charged with first-, second- and third degree murder and two counts each of robbery and conspiracy for the Dec. 30, 2011 slaying of Farrell bar-owner William Basilone.

Prosecutors lost a last-ditch effort to amend the charges to reflect that either Stewart or alleged co-conspirators Devine Campbell, 19, or Tylor Kalenic, 17, was the shooter in the botched robbery.

Campbell faces the same charges as Stewart and will be tried separately.

Kalenic hasn't been charged but has testified to his part in the crime during the trial, which entered its fourth day Tuesday.

Prosecutors have contended until today that Stewart acted as the gunman that night.

The charges won't be amended because of the changes they make to the defense of Stewart at this stage of the trial, Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher J. St. John ruled.

Stewart's lawyer, James Goodwin, and District Attorney Robert G. Kochems will make their summations to the jury when court resumes at 1:30 p.m. 

The jury will be sequestered until it reaches a verdict.

For more details, please see Wednesday's edition of The Herald