Timeline of Legal Actions

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Charles J. “Zeke” Goldblum

The chain of legal proceedings that followed the murder of George Wilhelm did not end with the convictions of Charles Goldblum and Clarence Miller.

Numerous petitions have been filed over the decades as Goldblum has argued his case through the judicial system.

The following timeline tracks the primary legal actions that have occurred.

It addition to chronicling of the chain of post-conviction legal arguments Goldblum has pursued, this timeline offers insights on the evolution of the investigation and prosecution. Virtually all of Goldblum’s petitions have been negatively received by the Commonwealth.

1976

  1. Feb 9 – George Wilhelm murdered
  2. Feb 10 – Clarence Miller and Charles Goldblum arrested and charged
  3. Feb 11 – Miller and Goldblum arraigned
  4. Feb 18 – Coroner’s inquest
  5. Feb 19 – Miller and Goldblum indicted.
  6. Feb 19 – Application for bail pursuant to Rule 4004
  7. Mar 4 – Order – Court refuses pre-trial bail
  8. Mar 5 – Order – doctor permitted to visit defendant at jail
  9. Apr 5 – Application for discovery and preliminary pretrial conference,, Application invoking privilege, and Application for evidentiary hearing on applicant’s application invoking privileges
  10. Apr 6 – Reply to Application invoking privileges
  11. Application for Examination,
  12. Order – Supreme Court setting bail
  13. Apr 7 – Order – Bond is accepted upon condition said security is posted and guaranteed by a surety company approved by the Court
  14. Apr 29 – Order – Rule to show cause issued upon the Commonwealth
  15. Order – Rule to show cause issued upon PGH National Bank,
  16. Order – Court personnel to refrain from making judicial statements
  17. Application for exercise of the Court’s supervisory power
  18. Order – Rule to show cause issued upon Earl Cavanaugh, Esq.
  19. May 17 – Supplemental Application for Discovery
  20. Jun 7 – Order – Rule to show cause issued on 5/17/76 pursuant to supplemental application for discovery is discharged and dismissed Order – Rule to show cause dated 4/5/76 is discharged and dismissed                                                                                                                                            Application for postponement
  21. Jun 11 – Order re: defendant’s bail
  22. Jun 24 – Application for permission to depart the jurisdiction
  23. July 9 – Application for pretrial conference
  24. Sep 9 – Supplemental application for discovery
  25. Sep 29-  Application for continuance
  26. Nov 22 – Application to revoke bail
  27. Order – Warden of Jail to permit doctor visitation
  28. Dec 1 – Order – Warden to permit psychologist to examine defendant

1977

  1. Feb 15 – Commonwealth petition to extend time for commencement of trial                                                                                                                                             Order – trial scheduled to begin on or before expiration of 120 days to the final order from the Supreme Court in re: Commonwealth v. Clarence Miller
  2. Apr 6 – Order allowing jail visitation
  3. May 13 – Application to include charges of accessory after the fact to murder and voluntary manslaughter charges., Application to suppress testimony of Clarence Miller
  4. May 25 – Order scheduling trial
  5. Jun 23 – Application for postponement. and Application for continuance
  6. Aug 18 – Voir Dire. Goldblum’s trial begins
  7. Aug 30 – Guilty verdict, verdict slip, transportation order
  8. Sep 6 – Application in arrest of judgement/new trial
  9. Sep 7 – Order scheduling argument, transportation order
  10. Sep 14 – Order – post-trial motions denied
  11. Oct 3 – Life sentence imposed and public defender appointed
  12. Oct 24 – Notice of appeal and Certification of defendant’s indigence

1978

  1. Mar 7 – Opinion
  2. Dec 4 – Motion for the procurement of records in Forma Pauperis
  3. Motion for leave to Goldblum and proceed in Forma Pauperis

1979

  1. Mar 7 – Order- Forma Pauperis and Record are granted
  2. Apr 27 – Motion for Production

1981

  1. Apr 27 –  Motion for Production

1982

  1. Jan 11 – Motion to Compel
  2. Jan 18 – Transportation order
  3. Apr 12 – Commonwealth’s brief in opposition to after-discovered evidence claim advanced at evidentiary hearing
  4. Apr 27 – Motion for new trial
  5. May 3 – Order – New trial denied
  6. May 10 – Opinion on Remand
  7. July 27 –  Supreme Court Order

1986

  1. Mar 7 – Petition under Post-Conviction Hearing Act
  2. Jun 11 – Commonwealth’s answer to Post-Conviction Petition
  3. Jun 23 – Order – PCRA is denied
  4. Jul 23 – Notice of Appeal
  5. Sep 11 – Stipulation
  6. Nov 18 – Opinion on stipulation

1987

  1. Sep 11 – Order of Court – briefs and application for re-argument made part of the record

1988

  1. Feb 2 – Superior Court Judgment Order and Opinion

1995

  1. Sep 29 – Petition to request information from the Allegheny County Crime Lab
  2. Oct 2 – Petition to request information from the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office
  3. Oct 6 – Commonwealth’s motion to vacate hearing and reassign case and/or dismiss discovery petition

1996

  1. Jan 12 – Motion for post conviction collateral relief
  2. Jan 16 – Amended post conviction Relief Act petition, Praecipe for appearance, and Petitioner’s motion for discovery
  3. Jan 23 – Order – DA ordered to respond to PCRA
  4. Feb 8 –  Order of 1/23/96 is withdrawn                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Affidavit of Cyril H. Wecht
  5. Feb 15 – Commonwealth’s answer in opposition to discover motion and request for immediate hearing on the discover motion and order of 2/8/96
  6. Mar 18 – Affidavit of John Balshy
  7. Apr 9 – Petitioner Charles J. Goldblum’s response to the Commonwealth’s opposition to discover motion
  8. Apr 19 – Petitioner Charles J. Goldblum’s revised response to the Commonwealth’s opposition to discover motion
  9. Jul 9 – Copies of police reports and supplemental reports in the possession of the DA
  10. Nov 12 – Commonwealth’s answer to amended post-conviction petition (Second Petition)
  11. Dec 2 – Affidavit of Michael M. Baden, M.D. and Barbara C. Wolf, M.D.
  12. Dec 10 – Commonwealth’s answer in opposition to Baden/Wolfe affidavits
  13. Dec 12 – Notice of Intention to dismiss pursuant to Pa. R. Crim. P. 1507
  14. Dec 16 – Motion to strike
  15. Dec 18 – Commonwealth’s answer in opposition to motion to strike
  16. Motion for extension of time to respond to a proposed PCRA dismissal
  17. Deposition transcripts of Salvatore S. Crisanti, Joseph G. Stottlemyer, Ralph Pampena, Herbert Buettner,  Joseph E. Modispatcher, Anthony Condemi,     and Edward Fagan
  18. Dec 19 – Order for extension of time is granted
  19. Dec 20 – Commonwealth’s answer in opposition to motion for extension of time

1997

  1. Jan 6 – Motion to strike deposition transcripts
  2. Jan 10 – Motion for extension of time within which to respond to Commonwealth’s motion to strike deposition transcripts
  3. Jan 15 – Petitioner’s motion for leave to amend petition under post-conviction Relief Act and Petitioner’s response to notice of intention to dismiss pursuant to Pa. Crim. P. 1507
  4. Feb 14 – Order of Court dismissing PCRA Petition
  5. Mar 5 – Motion for reconsideration of order
  6. Mar 14 – Notice of Appeal
  7. Mar 25 – Memorandum re: statement of reasons pursuant to Pa. R.A. 1925 (a)
  8. Jun 26 – Superior Court Order – withdrawal of counsel is granted

1998

  1. Feb 19 – Stipulation pursuant to Pa. R.A.P. 1926

1999

  1. Jan 7 – Motion to examine Coroner’s records
  2. Jan 11 – Commonwealth’s motion to vacate hearing and dismiss “Motion to Examine Coroner’s Records” for lack of jurisdiction
  3. Jan 13 – Order – Motion to examine Coroner’s records is denied
  4. Aug 13 – Superior Court judgment order and opinion

2000

  1. Jan 26 – Motions for videotaped depositions of David Rothman and Clarence Miller
  2. Jan 31 – Commonwealth’s answer in opposition to motion for videotaped depositions of Rothman and Miller
  3. Feb 14 – Petitioner’s memorandum of law in support of motions for videotaped depositions of Rothman and Miller
  4. Feb 15 – Order – Motion for videotaped depositions of Rothman and Miller denied June 26 PCRA hearing brief
  5. July 25 – Transportation order
  6. Aug 1 – Commonwealth answer in opposition to petition for leave to amend PCRA petition
  7. Aug 9 – Petitioner’s response to Commonwealth’s answer in opposition to petition for leave to amend PCRA petition
  8. Aug 17 – Transportation Order
  9. Sept 28 – Motion regarding presentation of rebuttal expert
  10. Oct 17 – Commonwealth answer in opposition to petition for leave to amend PCRA Petition Caption
  11. Oct 25 – Transportation Order
  12. Nov 21 – Motion for continuance and Commonwealth’s answer in opposition to motion for continuance
  13. Nov 29 – Order – court finds David Rothman, Esq. not ineffective for failing to call Dr. Cyril Wecht as defense witnessPetition for leave to amend PCRA petition

2001

  1. Jan 19 – Notice of Appeal
  2. Jan 29 – Brief filed on behalf of petitioner
  3. May 3 – Order – Appellant to file a Concise Statement of Matters on Appeal
  4. May 17 – Petition for extension of time to file brief in support of statement of matters on appeal
  5. Petitioner’s concise statement of matters to be complained of on appeal
  6. May 18 – Order – defendant to file a brief by 6/1/01
  7. June 1 – Petition for extension of time to file brief in support of concise statement of matters on appeal                                                                                                 Order of Court – Brief due by 6/20/01
  8. Jun 19 – Brief in support of petitioner’s concise statement of matters to be complained of on appeal

2002

  1. Nov 25 – Petitioner filed petition for allowance of appeal to Commonwealth Supreme Court

2003

  1. May 20 – Supreme Court denied petition
  2. Aug 14 – Petition for writ of Certiorari filed to Supreme Court of United States

2004

  1. Jan 12 – Supreme Court denied the petition
  2. Feb 26 – Motion filed for order District Court to consider second application
  3. Mar 4 – Commonwealth files memorandum in opposition
  4. Mar 29 – Third Circuit Court grants petitioner’s motion
  5. Apr 2 – Petition for writ of habeas corpus filed in US District Court
  6. July 8 – Commonwealth files answer
  7. Oct 12 – Motions filed for evidentiary hearing and for Commonwealth to produce critical records
  8. Oct 14 – Motions denied
  9. Oct 19 – Motion filed for answer to motion on evidentiary hearing.  Motion denied
  10. Oct 20 – Appellant filed motion for leave of court to serve respondents
  11. Oct 29 – Commonwealth responded
  12. Nov 1 – Appellant filed motion for leave to file reply brief
  13. Nov 15 – Motion denied

2005

  1. Feb 3 – Motion for leave denied
  2. Apr 28 – Motion filed for reconsideration of denial
  3. May 3 – Commonwealth files response
  4. May 11 – Motion for reconsideration is denied
  5. May 27 – Objections to denial filed
  6. May 31 – Appellant files reply to Commonwealth’s response
  7. Oct 28 – Court issues report and recommendation
  8. Nov 25 – Appellant files objections
  9. Dec 13 – District Court dismisses petition

2006

  1. Jan 6 – Appellant files notice of appeal
  2. Feb 9 – Appellant files a petition for Certificate of Appealability
  3. Feb 15 – Commonwealth files response
  4. Feb 27 – Appellant files a reply to response
  5. Nov 6 – Third Circuit Court grants Certificate of Appealability
  6. Nov 30 – Third Circuit Court denies relief

2009

  1.  PCRA Clemency Application is filed, but it is denied without a public hearing

2013

  1. Jul 1 – Appellant files PCRA petition, but it is denied.

2014

  1. Apr 7 – After several extensions, appellant files completed response petition
  2. Apr 14 – Court dismisses petition
  3. May 13 – Notice of appeal is filed
  4. June 3 – Concise statement is filed
  5. Aug 19 – Court denies petition

2015

  1. Aug 3 – Department of Corrections denies Application for Extradition to Israel
  2. Nov 30 – Petition for Allowance of Appeal in Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The petition was denied.

2017

  1. Jan 1 – Seventh PRCA Clemency Application is filed
  2. Jan 30 – Habeas Corpus petition is filed
  3. Feb 21 – Habeas Corpus petition is denied on a 2 to 1 decision
  4. May 17 – Presentation at Beth Shalom
  5. July 10 – PCRA petition filed citing newly discovered evidence.
  6. July 17 – PCRA petition denied

Poll

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TV Report on Zeke’s case

It has been more than 20 years since Ken Rice filed this in-depth report on Zeke’s case. 20 years since Zeke’s judge and prosecutor both labeled his trial “A Miscarriage of Justice.”

And 20 years later, Zeke is still in prison, serving a life sentence for a crime he did not commit.

 

Quotes

"Clarence . . . Clarence Miller did this to me." George Wilhelm's dying declaration to police, February 9, 1976 (T.T. 1528).

". . . Goldblum was not the individual who inflicted the fatal stab wounds on Mr. George Wilhelm." Dr. Cyril Wecht, Coroner of Allegheny County in letter to Board of Pardons, September 1, 1994; Henry Lee, Ph.D., report dated February 25, 1997.

"This is the one case in 21 years [as a judge] which seriously troubles my conscience about the result." The Honorable Donald Ziegler as quoted in Michael Bucsko, Judge Haunted by Dying Man's Last Sentences, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 5, 1995.

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