Motorcycle gang member loses appeal of conviction for rival biker's murder

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A motorcycle gang member convicted of fatally shooting a rival biker during a melee outside a Philadelphia convention hall is fated to keep serving his 18 1/2- to 37-year prison sentence for the crime.

A state Superior Court panel guaranteed that by rejecting what Judge Alice Beck Dubow called Stanley "Stizz" Newell's "significantly underdeveloped" appeal of his third-degree murder conviction.

It didn't help Newell's case that the September 2014 shooting of Michael "Country" Baker was filmed by surveillance cameras at the Nifiji Event Hall on Chew Avenue in North Philly.

Investigators said the gunfire erupted during an anniversary ceremony for the Twisters Motorcycle Club. Newell, now 48, was a member of the rival Byrd Riders club.

Dubow cited an opinion by Philadelphia Judge Barbara A. McDermott in the state court ruling tossing Newell's appeal.

McDermott wrote how an argument among the bikers escalated to gunfire. She described the video that captured Newell firing a fatal shot into Baker's neck as Baker ran toward him. Baker and Newell traded shots before Newell's bullet hit home, according to McDermott.

She noted police later found 25 empty shell casings at the scene of the melee. Investigators said Newell didn't deny having a pistol, but claimed he dropped it or gave it to someone else before Baker was shot.

In his failed appeal, Newell insisted police didn't tell him he could have a lawyer present for questioning after they read him his rights. He claimed the evidence didn't support his conviction, and that a police officer shouldn't have been allowed to "narrate" the shooting video for the jury.

None of that gained traction with Dubow's court. She noted, for instance, that Newell had waived any appeal on the police narration issue because his lawyer didn't object to the officer's commentary during the trial.

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