YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A state prisoner from Waldwick whose attempted murder conviction was overturned on appeal returned to a Hackensack courtroom today to prepare for a new trial.
Jurors convicted 51-year-old Mark C. Sheppard two years ago of trying to kill a Guatemalan immigrant on July 4, 2009.
But the state Appellate Division overturned the conviction earlier this month, ruling that the trial judge improperly admitted evidence that included a videotaped interview with police.
Sheppard is serving a prison sentence from June 2012 for being a felon in possession of a weapon — a fact raised today by Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer when defense attorney Joseph Rem requested bail for his client.
Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi denied the request, noting that Sheppard will still be serving that sentence when the retrial in the attempted murder will conclude.
She set a Dec. 1 conference to consider a trial date, adding that Sheppard can request bail “when he is no longer a state prisoner.”
Authorities arrested Sheppard after he went to The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood for treatment of a hand injury soon after the stabbing behind the Waldwick post office on Watler Hammond Place.
The 44-year-old victim, who was living in Waldwick at the time, survived his injuries, authorities said.
Sheppard had four prior felony convictions, including one for aggravated assault and another for burglary, records show.
STORY/PHOTOS: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia
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