WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) – A man is challenging his third-degree murder conviction in the 1977 slaying of his pregnant ex-girlfriend because the judge at his trial was known to be using cocaine stolen from evidence at the time.

Fifty-eight-year-old Robert Urwin Jr., of Dunleavy, is appealing his conviction four years ago at a non-jury trial presided over by then-Washington County Judge Paul Pozonsky.

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Pozonsky has since resigned and is scheduled to be sentenced July 13 for theft and other charges for stealing cocaine from evidence files that were kept in his chambers.

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The (Washington) Observer-Reporter says Urwin contends Pozonsky’s cocaine use made him incapable of presiding over the trial, which included complex DNA evidence used to link Urwin to the killing of 16-year-old Mary Gency in February 1977.

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