Vandergrift man appeals sentence for infant daughter’s death
A Vandergrift man serving a 40-year prison sentence for the murder of his infant daughter wants a state appeals court to overturn his conviction.
Defense attorney Tim Dawson on Friday filed the appeal with the state’s Superior Court, seeking to challenge a ruling issued earlier this month that affirmed the third-degree murder conviction of Matthew Milisits.
Milisits, 39, pleaded guilty in 2014 and was sentenced by Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rita Hathaway to serve 20-to-40 years in prison. Police said Milisits violently shook his 2-month-old daughter during a three-hour visit with the child in November 2012. The baby died from injuries sustained in the assault.
Milisits has appealed his conviction and sentence three times. Hathaway earlier this month rejected Milisits latest appeal in which he claimed he received inaccurate advice from one of his former lawyers. Milisits said he was led to believe he would serve just 10 years in prison by pleading guilty to a reduced murder charge.
Hathaway found there was no merit to his appeal.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]