Respected attorney appointed for Jeff Pyne's appeal A seasoned and well-respected local attorney named Neil J. Leithauser was appointed this week to represent Jeffrey Pyne as he appeals his conviction for second degree murder of his mother, Ruth Pyne.
Pyne, 23, was recently sentenced to 20-60 years in prison. His family, friends and community support the former University of Michigan honors student, who continues to maintain his innocence.
Leithauser has strong experience in criminal appeals
Leithauser has strong experience in both trial and appellate court.
“He specializes in appeals before the Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Supreme Court, 6th circuit and U.S. Supreme Court,” according to his biography.
He is also a contract research attorney with the Criminal Defense Resource Center and with the State Appellate Defender Office.
On top of this, Leithauser serves as Associate Editor of the Criminal Defense Newsletter.
Leithauser has a good reputation
So far, the information and feedback about Mr. Leithauser is good news for Jeffrey Pyne.
“He will do a good job for Jeffrey, as he has a lot of experience,” stated a defense attorney who has worked with him in Detroit.
Jeff’s father Bernie Pyne also said that Leithauser returned his call immediately and wanted to know everything possible about the case.
Jeff deserves a fair trial
Jeff deserves a good appeals attorney and a new trial because his first trial was not fair.
First of all, Jeffrey’s trial attorney had never tried a murder case before, and did not call any defense witnesses. The evidence against Pyne was entirely circumstantial.
In addition, several experts have stated that the judge made serious errors in the case. For example, he let in character evidence from a former girlfriend, which was unrelated to the case. The judge also allowed the prosecutor to add in the second-degree murder charge after both sides had rested.
Last but certainly not least, the original murder charges were brought against Jeffrey Pyne after a grand jury was used. The grand jury process is highly controversial, and causes defendants to lose many of their rights.
It will probably be a year or so before we know what will happen with Jeffrey Pyne's appeal. However, the news about his appointed attorney is welcome for Jeff Pyne's many supporters.
To read all of the stories about this case and the trial, please see the Index of stories about Jeff Pyne's case.