District Attorney Stollsteimer Ends Retail Theft Prosecution of David Sheppard
After just one full day in office, new DA implements reform
Media, Pa – During a press conference held on Jan. 8, District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer announced he is dropping a 27-year-old retail theft case against David Sheppard, a Philadelphia man whose life sentence on an unrelated case was recently commuted by Governor Thomas W. Wolf. Stollsteimer’s predecessor, District Attorney Kat Copeland, kept Mr. Sheppard in custody after his commutation by insisting on his transfer to Delaware County on the retail theft case. After much public criticism, Copeland relented and agreed to the release of Mr. Sheppard on unsecured bail.
After serving just one full day in office, DA Stollsteimer is working to implement reforms and began with a case which garnered national attention and public criticism.
“The further prosecution of Mr. Sheppard for the theft of a pair of jeans almost thirty years ago would be a miscarriage of justice and an absolute waste of taxpayer's resources,” said Stollsteimer. “This prosecution was pursued as a political stunt by the outgoing DA and that ends today.”
David Sheppard served 25 years in prison for his role as a lookout in the 1992 robbery of Love’s Pharmacy in Philadelphia, during which an accomplice shot and killed a man.
The Delaware County case Stollsteimer is declining to prosecute dates to 1992: a retail theft involving five pairs of jeans, worth a total of $324.95, allegedly stolen from a now-defunct store Jeans West. DA Copeland’s argument for detaining Mr. Sheppard after his commutation was that it was incumbent upon him to seek to come to Delaware County to resolve the retail theft case during the 25 years he was in state custody serving a life sentence.
District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer was elected in November 2019 and took office on January 6, 2020.
OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
DELAWARE COUNTY COURTHOUSE
MEDIA, PENNSYLVANIA 19063
Released: January 8, 2020