Defense attorneys for Tristan Stahley, 17, accused of
killing on-again, off-again girlfriend Julianne Siller, petitioned the court to
bar prosecutors from using physical evidenced seized by authorities, allegedly
including a collection of knives and swords from his Skippack home.
According to the Pottstown Mercury, defense attorney Timothy J. Barton maintained in court papers that the search of Stahley’s home on the 4100 block of Rittenhouse Lane, and the seizure of records on his Facebook and Twitter account were conducted without proper warrants.
Barton also said that the seizures of records for Stahley’s Facebook and Twitter accounts were also obtained illegally and without a valid warrant.
According to Barton, the warrants were “unreasonable and invalid as the affidavits in support of the search warrants were insufficient to establish probable cause.”
In September, Stahley pleaded not guilty to the first- and third- degree murder charges against him, after police say he stabbed Siller multiple times in the throat with an orange-handled EMT knife and dragged her body into a wooded area off of the Skippack trail on May 25.
After the alleged stabbing, police say that Stahley returned home and threatened to kill himself after confessing his crime to his mother; a struggle ensued while Stahley’s father tried to stop his son from killing himself, and the Pennsylvania State Police responded the domestic incident.
Stahley then confessed to the murder, police say, and took the troopers to Siller’s body.
Earlier in October, Barton requested that Siller’s trial be moved to Juvenile Court, where the emphasis is on rehabilitation instead of punishment.
Barton also filed to have Stahley’s alleged confession thrown out, stating that Stahley’s arrest was illegal, and that Stahley did not knowingly waive his right against self-incrimination.
Stahley has been held in prison without bail since Siller’s death.