Commuted Prisoner Lifer Faces Arrest When He's Released

Dec 6, 2019

A man whose life sentence in a Pennsylvania prison was just commuted by Gov. Tom Wolf may be facing arrest as soon as he's released Friday.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman said in a statement that the Delaware County district attorney's office has notified the state prison system that it plans to detain 54-year-old David Sheppard when he leaves prison.

Fetterman called it an alarming example of "prosecutorial abuse of power" that he said is disrupting what should have been the first morning of a new life for someone who has paid his debt to society.

Sheppard's life sentence was commuted Thursday by Wolf, but he'll still have to spend a year in a halfway house and the remainder of his life under parole supervision.

Sheppard has an outstanding warrant on a 1992 shoplifting charge in Delaware County. The district attorney's office didn't immediately comment Friday, but in recent weeks officials there have said Sheppard is still considered a fugitive.

Sheppard was sentenced to life in prison for his role in a pharmacy robbery in Philadelphia in 1992 in which a co-conspirator shot and killed the owner.