Kevin Brian Dowling




Case No. 952 CA 97, Robbery, Crim. Att. at Rape (sentenced to 9-18 years),

Date of the Crime: 8-5-1996

Date of Conviction: 4-29-1998


Case No. 5365 CA 97, Criminal Homicide (sentenced to death)

Date of the Crime: 10-20-1997

Date of Conviction: 11-6-1998


In short, this case involved an alleged armed robbery of a woman in a framing gallery. I was arrested and falsely charged with this four months later. Allegedly, the day before my arrest, the victim now claimed to have been assaulted as well. After 80 days, I was released on a bailbond. Eight months later, the alleged robbery victim was shot to death at a new framing gallery miles away, only two weeks before my trial was set to begin. I was re-arrested nine days after the murder, and accused of killing the victim to prevent her testimony. I have been in prison since that day, 29 October 1997.


The alleged armed robbery occurred at 10:45 A.M. on August 5th, 1996. I lived nearly 40 miles away from the robbery scene. I was a General Manager for a restaurant company. I had been offered a better position with another company, which would require me to train 49 miles from my home for 3 months, and only 9 miles from the robbery scene. On the date of the robbery, I had to drive past the robbery scene around 10:00 A.M. on my way to visit my future training store in Hanover, York County. I had to pass the robbery scene around 11:00 A.M. going the other direction, until I connected to Route 74 North, and headed to my restaurant to work that day. I arrived there around 11:30 A.M.


The suspect was seen crossing the road near the robbery scene at around 10:50 A.M. and getting into a car parked on the berm. He crossed behind a moving car occupied by an elderly couple, and in front of a police car driven by Officer Haines. At the robbery trial in April 1998, Officer Haines testified to this and that he looked right at the suspect. He did not identify me or my car.


The elderly couple who saw the suspect at the same moment as Officer Haines, crossing behind their moving car. Mr. Jarmon testified he was the passenger, while his wife drove. They apparently did see me in my car on Route 74, about six miles away from the robbery scene. They both admitted to being exposed to over 6 months of extensive and prejudicial media coverage of the robbery, and subsequent murder. They were both hypnotized by a police officer hypnotist, and it altered their memories. Mr. Jarmon testified that the police led them to my car in their impound lot the day after my arrest in the robbery.


The robbery trial took place in April 1998, 20 months after the alleged robbery, and 6 months after the murder. At the robbery trial, Mr. Jarmon insisted that he saw me cross the road near the robbery scene, and that he saw me again on Route 74 at a red light a short time later. He insisted it was my 1991 Lincoln Continental both times, in contradiction to the testimony of Officer Haines. The jury never heard the evidence impeaching his testimony and tainted identification.


The victim did not testify of course, because she had been murdered. But her description of the robbery suspect was given to the jury, through the testimony of Officer Crider. She had described the suspect as a white male, later 40's, fair complexion, 5'6", 185 pounds, short cut light or grey hair, wearing a black baseball cap with gold clusters and naval logo, olive green dress slacks, darker green waist-length dress jacket, cream colored button down shirt, multicolored tie, unknown color dress shoes, aviator style sunglasses, was left handed, had military or police demeanor, well mannered, and told her he just got out of prison and did not want to go back.


The jury could observe my appearance at trial of course, and the police read the details from the arrest report. I am a white male, I was 38 years old then, ruddy complexion, 5'11", 205 pounds, mostly bald with reddish crown, did not own any matching clothing, I did own a $8.00 pair of sunglasses, I am right-handed, I never had any police or military training, and I never was in prison. The only change, by the time of trial, I was nearly 40 years old, and while in prison awaiting trial, I lost over 30 pounds.


The trial judge had refused to dismiss the robbery case, on the grounds that it violated my right to confront my accuser. She delayed a Motion to Dismiss twice, and gave the police and prosecutors two months to meet with other witnesses to coach completely new statements from them, which were erroneously ruled admissible as “excited utterance” exceptions to hearsay.


A U.P.S. delivery driver, Gary Altland, testified taht he arrived at the robbery scene at 11:00 A.M. according to his delivery computer. He said the victim reported she had been robbed at gunpoint and tied up. She told him she might know the suspect, that someone was playing a trick on her, that she did not want the police or her husband called. He left and had the woman at a nearby animal hospital call police at 11:09 A.M. He told police he did not see a suspect or vehicle. After this trial 20 months later, he now claimed a much different account. He claimed that she came down the steps tossing ropes off, with a torn blouse and a bra up around her neck. He claimed she said the suspect tried to rape her. Officer Crider testified he arrived at 11:15 a.m., and found the victim on the phone to police then herself. He was not told about an attempted rape, her clothes were in order, and he saw no rope marks on her wrists or ankles, as Altland claimed. Altland also now claimed that he saw something go by him quickly as he was bringing in packages, then heard tires squealing and horns blowing. Officer Haines testified that he saw the suspect get into the car at around 10:50 A.M., ten minutes before Altland even arrived. Neither “911” call was ever played for me or the jury at trial. In 2001, Det. Snell told my attorney they destroyed both recordings.


My public defenders refused to present any of my 43 defense witnesses or evidence supporting my innocence, and they arranged with the trial judge to keep me silent with a 50,000 volt stun belt. They helped the prosecution win the conviction. The jury never heard my side of the case. I was convicted of armed robbery, criminal attempt at rape, and indecent assault.


Two months after the robbery conviction, my public defender withdrew from the pending homicide trial. They helped her obtain a prosecutor position in another county.


The trial judge sentenced me to 9-18 years in prison, despite no prior criminal record. They used this conviction to argue motive for the murder, and support both aggravating factors in the death penalty.


The trial judge, herself a former prosecutor, then appointed another former prosecutor to defend me at the murder trial.




The murder trial took place in October/November 1998. The prosecution case took 4 days, and the defense only 1 1/1 days. My attorney tricked me into testifying first in my defense, with the promise to call nearly 60 defense witnesses. I was also under the threat of the 50,000 volt stun belt again. He then refused to present my defense. He refused to expose false testimony by police, paid experts, and jailhouse snitches. He refused to present evidence supporting 5 suspects in the murder, which included the victim's husband and her business partner. I was convicted and sentenced to death.


The murder occurred at 12:57 P.M. on October 20th, 1997, at the victim's new framing gallery, where she moved the business after the robbery. Two witnesses heard the shots at that time, but her body was not discovered until 3:08 P.M. by her husband. I lived about 45 miles away from this location. Various witnesses reported seeing the suspect with a long black wig, eyeglasses, and bluejeans - either driving a car nearby, parked in a car nearby, walking towards or away from the gallery, or peering inside the window moments before the shots were heard. These sightings took place during three time periods:  7:50-8:20 A.M., 10:50 A.M., and 12:50-1:30 P.M.


The police verified I was over 45 miles away at 8:00 A.M. They also verified that I was at a fishing tackle store around 45 miles away at 9:45 A.M. The police also verified I was at Muddy Run Lake fishing from 10:00 A.M.-11:05 A.M. and again from 3:00 P.M.- 4:00 P.M., which they determined was 40 miles and a 63 minute drive from the murder scene.


The only time period in dispute for me was 11:05 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. I had left the lake at 11:05 A.M. with the intention of returning shortly with food. Instead, I took a drive on impulse to a business in Harrisburg. I arrived back at the lake at 3:00 P.M. At the time of the shots (12:57 P.M.), this was where I was over 45 miles north of the murder scene.


My public defender concealed evidence supporting my alibi in Harrisburg. Of course, the police had proved my alibi for two of the three relevant times. Since none of the defense was presented at trial, it was my testimony alone on my alibi. They knew that I had made a short videotape at the lake of my fishing trip, and had changed some time stamps to conceal my sidetrip to Harrisburg from my wife. They took the video from my house the morning after the murder, without a warrant, and claimed it was a falsified alibi for the murder. I was called a liar on every point of my testimony. My court-appointed attorney for the murder trial, a former county prosecutor himself, did not object and helped the prosecution.


In 2001, three years after my two trials, I obtained photocopies of two entire boxes of discovery hidden in the courthouse. I found evidence to prove that the prosecutor coached and tampered with witnesses in both trials, and that the trial judge refused to put it on the record. I also found proof that my alibi in Harrisburg was verified only a week after my arrest.


The only reason that I was a suspect in the murder to begin with, was because I was awaiting trial for the robbery. The media drove the case. At the murder trial, 8 witnesses testified to seeing the suspect and/or his car. Only 1 witness falsely claimed I was that suspect, and she described a completely different color car than mine. This lone witness gave police 8 different statements between October 24th, 1997 and July 1998. She testified in December 1997, June 1998, and at trial in October 1998. She changed her testimony each time. She had admitted to reading and viewing months of newspaper and television reports on the case.


This lone witness testified that she exited Kennies Market near the murder scene moments before the suspect almost hit her with his car, and then stopped and looked at her. Her computerized register receipt was given to the jury, proving that she saw the suspect just after 10:50 A.M. - a time the police admitted that I was 40 miles away at the lake. Without proof, the police officer claimed that the register time was 20 minutes slow according to his watch, and the prosecutor suggested the registers were over 70 minutes slow. He knew this was false, and suggested that I arrived at the scene at 12:00 noon, almost hit the eyewitness with my car, and then laid in wait until 12:57 P.M. when the murder occurred.


Both he and my court-appointed attorney concealed evidence that the store manager and register company technician had verified the accuracy of these registers. They knew that I could not have been the murder suspect, but wanted to win the case at all costs.


The police expert testified that 70 shoeprints were lifted from the crime scene floor, and none matched the distinctive pattern on the bottom of my sneakers - which they simultaneously argued were worn to commit the murder. They testified that they took a ballcap, flannel shirt, jeans, and sneakers from my home the morning after the murder. I had worn some of these items while hunting, target shooting, working on my car brakes, and on the day of the murder when I went fishing. A police officer admitted that he forgot to wear gloves while handling the ballcap and shirt, but falsely claimed to wear gloves when handling the jeans and sneakers.


Another paid expert testified that he found 6 particles on the ballcap, 2 particles on the left sleeve of the shirt, 1 particle on the left leg of the jeans, and 1 particle on the left sneaker - which he falsely testified was “unique” to gunshots residue. His own experiment proved that these findings were inconsistent with the case. I am right-handed. The victim was shot three times with a .357 caliber Smith&Wesson revolver.


Another police expert testified that the only gun tested in this case belonged to the victim's husband. It was in fact a .357 caliber Smith&Wesson revolver. On cross-examination, he testified that he could not rule it out as the murder weapon, then the trial judge permitted him to change his opinion on re-direct over defense objection. This contradicted his lab report and testimony of moments earlier.


The jury completely ignored the evidence, never heard my defense and was contaminated from the beginning of the case.




Kevin Brian Dowling  # DY 6243

State Correctional Institution at Greene

175 Progress Drive

Waynesburg, PA 15370



DOB 6-12-1958

(death row)


Case No. 952 CA 97, Robbery, Crim. Att. at Rape (sentenced to 9-18 years),

Date of the Crime: 8-5-1996

Date of Conviction: 4-29-1998

Case No. 5365 CA 97, Criminal Homicide (sentenced to death)

Date of the Crime: 10-20-1997

Date of Conviction: 11-6-1998


From Kevin Brian Dowling


May 7, 2007


I would appreciate receiving letters from anyone who might be interested in assisting me on my appeals, even moral support. If there is any subject [about my case] that you have personal knowledge about, please contact me.


I have lost 10 years of my life in prison already. My appeals were delayed for 8 years by the trial judge failing to act. My Direct Appeal to the State Supreme Court was lost due to intentional misconduct by the court appointed attorney. My 1st Death Warrant was signed by the Governor on 5 January 2007. I received a Stay of Execution on 12 January 2007.


Now, I finally have real attorneys. The Federal Defenders Association has taken over. They are working very hard investigating my case, since prior counsel never did any investigation. They have hired several experts who have confirmed that the only forensic evidence used to convict me was false and “junk science.”


Very soon, these new attorneys will be filing my collateral appeals to the trial court. We anticipated a long fight. This trial judge has demonstrated her personal bias against me, as well as her favoritism to the prosecution, since she formerly worked in the same office as a prosecutor. If she refuses to hear the truth, I will have to wait for my Federal Habeas Corpus appeals.


I would also invite you to contact my 4 new attorneys to offer any information or assistance. They are:


David Zuckerman, Esq.

Maria Pulzetti, Esq.

Federal Defender Office

Capital Habeas Unit

Suite 545 West – The Curtis Center

601 Walnut Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106



Phone: (215) 928-0520

Fax: (215) 928-0826


Anne L. Saunders, Esq.

Beth Ann Muhlhauser, Esq.

Federal Public Defender

Capital Habeas Unit

100 Chestnut Street; Suite 306

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101



Phone: (717) 782-3843

Fax: (717) 782-3966