A man convicted nine years ago of killing his girlfriend sniper-style will be in court this week asking to have his conviction overturned.
William C. Severs, Jr. is expected to argue that his attorney at trial was ineffective because the attorney did not seek the testimony of either a ballistics or palm-print expert, according to court documents. Furthermore, his attorney never argued that when Severs gunned down his girlfriend, he was mentally impaired.
The Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office declined comment Tuesday, and attorney Michael G. Paul of Metuchen, Middlesex County, appointed by the state Office of the Public Defender, did not return a call seeking comment either.
Severs, a former truck driver from Pittsgrove, Salem County, shot and killed his former girlfriend, Tina Weaver Labriola, 35, of Millville, outside the Vineland home of her friend on Jan. 10, 2002.
The two had dated for about two years while Labriola was estranged from her husband, but a judge had issued a restraining order against Severs six months before the murder.
At the time of her death, Labriola had recently become engaged to re-marry.
He shot her once in the back with a .243-caliber bullet. The scoped hunting rifle was found on a nearby baseball field afterward. Severs remained a fugitive for more than 10 months, during which the case was featured on “America’s Most Wanted.” He was later arrested following a standoff at an Ocean City, Md., condominium.
Severs, 48, was convicted in September 2005 and sentenced the following month to 60 years in prison. He is currently incarcerated in New Jersey State Prison in Trenton. He is scheduled to plead his case 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Cumberland County criminal court in Bridgeton
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