New Castle News

Local News

April 16, 2011

Judge rejects motion by Donna Moonda

SHARON — A federal judge has denied a motion by Donna J. Moonda to vacate her sentence.

The decision comes opportunely while an Investigation Discovery channel documentary is airing, replaying the  murder case of Dr. Gulam Moonda.

U.S. Judge David D. Dowd Jr., Akron, agreed with prosecutors that Mrs. Moonda is trying to relitigate issues already decided by a higher appeals court.

Mrs. Moonda, 52, formerly of Hermitage, was convicted by a jury in July 2007 of murder-for-hire and three other federal charges related to the shooting death of her husband, Dr. Moonda.

Moonda, 69, was gunned down May 13, 2005, in an emergency pull-off of the Ohio Turnpike in Cuyahoga County by Mrs. Moonda’s lover, Damian R. Bradford, 29, formerly of Beaver County.

Bradford testified that Mrs. Moonda promised to share her inheritance with him if he killed her husband. Mrs. Moonda has maintained that she had nothing to do with her husband’s death and that Bradford acted alone.

Mrs. Moonda’s attorneys, Timothy C. Ivey and Vanessa F. Malone of the Federal Public Defender’s Office, Cleveland, said Bradford’s testimony was the only evidence about any deal between him and her to kill Dr. Moonda.

Bradford had plenty of incentive to testify against her as he had made a sweetheart of a deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Cleveland, they said.

Bradford, who is housed in Ray Brook, N.Y., was sentenced to 17 years in prison, and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons lists his projected release date as April 6, 2021.

Dowd, who took six days to consider his decision, said a motion to vacate petition “is not an opportunity to revisit a ruling made on direct appeal.

“As indicated by the government, and as the (U.S. Court of Appeal for the) Sixth Circuit (in Cincinnati) considered and rejected the argument that there was insufficient evidence to support the consideration element of the murder for hire conviction, there is no basis to grant the petitioner ... relief,” Dowd said Thursday.

Mrs. Moonda can appeal Dowd’s decision to the Sixth Circuit, which ruled on her direct appeal Sept. 29, 2009.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • police.jpg Man ends up in jail over loud music
    Loud music triggered an incident that landed a city man in the Lawrence County jail, police said.

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • New Castle classes plan reunions
    New Castle's class of 1955 will have its annual picnic Aug. 16. New Castle's class of 1948 will be celebrating its 65th anniversary next year.

    August 2, 2014

  • Kara_Petro.jpg Westminster names alumni director

    Westminster College has named Kara Petro as its director of alumni relations.


    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • LATCOM_Unspoken.jpg County fair concert to benefit LATCOM

    The Christian band Unspoken will perform a benefit concert for LATCOM at this month’s Lawrence County Fair. The event will take place at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 in the fairgrounds grandstands.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • FallenWarriorRide.jpg Fallen Warrior Ride to preface soldier tribute

    Area motorcyclists will be heading out once again this month to pay tribute to the nation’s soldiers and veterans. The second annual Fallen Warrior Ride is scheduled to leave Cascade Park at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 for a one-hour, circuitous route to Laurel High School. Once there, riders — led by the Patriot Honor Guard of Western Pennsylvania — will parade into the Lawrence County Fairgrounds, where they’ll join a Salute to the American Soldiers: For God and Country, a crusade by Vision Ministries of Lawrence County.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • LOVEkitchen.jpg Love Kitchen: Little Caesars provides special delivery for Rescue Mission

    The Little Caesars Love Kitchen rolled into the City Rescue Mission for a special delivery Wednesday. A pizza kitchen on wheels, the big rig travels across the United States and Canada to meet the needs of the hungry, the homeless and disaster survivors.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • fairphoto.jpg County fair looks for a few good bakers

    The countdown to the 2014 Lawrence County Fair has begun. In less than two weeks, the fairgrounds will be brimming with animals, vegetables, fruit, flowers, music, food and fun. This year’s fair runs from Aug. 11 to 16.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • CarolineOrrico.jpg Local teen off to state DYW event

    Lawrence County’s 2015 Distinguished Young Woman is heading back into scholarship competition.


    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • NicholsonOffice.jpg County to buy new office for Nicholson

    Before the end of the year, the Lawrence County commissioners plan to move District Judge Jennifer Nicholson into new offices.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • PortersvilleSS.jpg Portersville Steam Show summer event arrives

    The Portersville Steam Show will stage its summer event Thursday through Sunday at its show grounds.


    July 30, 2014 1 Photo