Nearly four years after a jury convicted him of manslaughter and burglary charges, Patrick “PJ” Melehan is facing trial again for his alleged involvement in the case of an 18-year-old who died after a metal rod drove though his skull either during or shortly after a fight with Melehan.
How and when 18-year-old Carlos Lopez’s head became impaled on the pole is a question neither prosecutors nor Melehan’s defense attorneys could answer definitively both in his first trial, or on Wednesday when they delivered to jurors their opening statements in his retrial. A judge had sentenced Melehan to 25 years in prison in 2009 after a jury convicted him of manslaughter and burglary with battery. But an appellate court last year overturned those convictions, clearing the way for this week’s new trial.
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