Einhorn granted new trial
Thursday, November 15, 2001 Go to: S M T W T F S
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Judge orders Einhorn retried in 1977 slaying
The ruling came yesterday in Common Pleas Court. The ex-fugitive will face
charges in the killing of Holly Maddux.
By Jacqueline Soteropoulos
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Former fugitive Ira Einhorn will have an unprecedented new trial on charges
the counterculture guru murdered his girlfriend Holly Maddux in 1977, a
Philadelphia judge decided yesterday.
In a brief hearing without Einhorn present, Common Pleas Court Judge D.
Webster Keogh said he would "resist the temptation to consider the
constitutionality" of the special law that had been designed to win
Einhorn's extradition from France by granting him a second trial.
Legislation is always presumed to be constitutional, Keogh noted, and
District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham's office supports Einhorn's right to a
In September, Einhorn had petitioned Common Pleas Court for a new trial but
requested that the court hold off until the state Supreme Court could review
the constitutionality of a second trial. Last Friday, the high court
declined to hear the issue.
Einhorn, 61, was convicted in absentia in 1993 and sentenced to life in
Maddux's mummified body was found in 1979, stuffed in a trunk in the
couple's Powelton Village apartment. She had been missing for 18 months.
Einhorn jumped bail and disappeared in 1981 on the eve of his trial.
Maddux's sister, Buffy Hall, of Everman, Texas, and her siblings plan to
attend Einhorn's new trial in Philadelphia.
"It's a big psychological finale. It's an official end to this struggle and
we'll be finished. That's what I'm looking forward to - the end of the road
for Ira and his legal machinations," Hall said yesterday.
Einhorn eluded authorities until 1997 and then waged a lengthy legal battle
in France to avoid extradition. He was extradited July 19 after the
legislation was enacted and he had exhausted his efforts to stay in France.
Assistant District Attorney Joel Rosen, who prosecuted Einhorn in 1993 and
will handle the retrial, said yesterday that he had already begun contacting
witnesses. He said a trial date was still months away.
Yesterday's hearing was also "the last hurrah" for defense attorney Norris
E. Gelman. Einhorn hired him more than two decades ago before fleeing to
A judge ordered Gelman, against his will, to handle the 1993 trial.
Gelman said yesterday that Einhorn could not afford to hire him and that his
caseload was too heavy to take on the new murder trial.
Keogh said he will hold another hearing Monday to formally enter the order
for a new trial and question Einhorn - via video-conferencing - about
whether he can afford to hire a lawyer or needs one appointed. Einhorn
remains imprisoned in general population at the prison in Houtzdale in
Gelman said Einhorn had no assets. In 1999, a civil jury ordered Einhorn to
pay $907 million in wrongful-death damages to the Maddux family.
Gelman said yesterday that Einhorn corresponds regularly with his wife,
Annika Flodin Einhorn, in France and calls her every four or five weeks at
the Champagne-Mouton cottage they shared.
"His spirits are good. He's doing the best he can in a prison setting,"
Jacqueline Soteropoulos' e-mail address is jsoteropoulos@....