Pa. Court OK’s Confession, Denies Challenge from Man who Killed Wife with 80+ Stabs

A convicted murderer’s latest request for relief was recently denied by a Pennsylvania appellate court.

Carrington Joseph, 31, is serving a life sentence after a Lancaster County judge convicted him in 2015 of first-degree murder for repeatedly stabbing his wife, Melissa, at a Lancaster Township home.

On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Superior Court denied Joseph’s request for a new trial – about a year-and-a-half after denying his initial request.

Joseph argues he stabbed his wife – over 80 times, according to police – in self-defense. The state court denied that claim, finding Joseph did not sustain a single stab wound himself during the attack at a Sterling Place home.

The state court also denied numerous other claims, including Joseph’s assertions about:

- His confession to police

- His waiver of a jury trial in exchange for prosecutors dropping the death penalty

- His competency to stand trial

- An eyewitness’ credibility

- How he was “coerced” not to take the stand

- Fingerprint evidence

The Superior Court rejected all those claims and Joseph’s argument that he was convicted against the weight of evidence in the case.

Melissa Cowen, a mother of five, was killed inside her home on May 2, 2014, with her two infant children present, as First Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Larsen proved at trial.

Assistant District Attorney Travis S. Anderson, representing the Commonwealth throughout the appeal process, has written the killing was a clear case of first-degree murder, with Joseph repeatedly stabbing the victim over a duration of time.

Manheim Township police filed charges.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; bhambright@co.lancaster.pa.us; Twitter: @BrettHambright