WILKES-BARRE — Two Luzerne County judges issued orders in cases involving Joshua Ovalles, convicted of shooting one man and accused of killing another.
Judge David Lupas Tuesday denied Ovalles’ request for modification of the 20-to-40 year prison sentence imposed on July 1. Lupas advised Ovalles of his right to appeal the denial.
In May a jury convicted Ovalles, 20, of Wilkes-Barre of attempted homicide and other charges in the Jan. 9, 2013 shooting of Michael Kubiak while the two men were driving to buy heroin in Wilkes-Barre. Kubiak drove himself to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital and later identified Ovalles from photographs provided by police.
Ovalles still faces a non-jury trial before President Judge Thomas F. Burke Jr. for allegedly killing Vaughn Kemp, 24, outside a South Grant Street residence on July 7, 2013.
Burke Monday denied a request by Peter J. Moses, attorney for Ovalles, to compel the district attorney’s office to comply with a judicial gag order.
Moses filed his request last week after District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis commented to a reporter from the Citizens’ Voice after a judge’s ruling in the case. Salavantis said her comments were not in violation of the gag order and that her office will comply with it.