New trial denied in 1989 Pa. rape, murder of girl

November 14, 2012 7:09:18 AM PST
A judge has denied a request for a new trial for an eastern Pennsylvania man convicted of raping and strangling an 11-year-old eastern girl more than two decades ago.

Forty-four-year-old Scott Oliver of Easton is serving a life sentence in the August 1989 murder of Melissa Jaroschak, a native of Phillipsburg, N.J. who lived in Easton. He has appealed, citing new DNA evidence.

But Northampton County Judge Leonard Zito ruled Tuesday that even with the new tests, Oliver would likely still be convicted in the slaying given that his hair was found on her body and three witnesses testified that he confessed. Zito also said the two tests are "inconclusive" given their differing results.

Oliver's court-appointed attorney, Victor Scomillio, said his client is likely to appeal to Superior Court.