Local News

Apr 23, 2010 9:13 PM by Monica Quintero

Judge denies Wollett new trial

The man found guilty in the 2007 murder of a former Cal Poly professor's son is denied a new trial, and the victim's family disagrees with the decision. Twenty-year-old Patrick Wollett was convicted of murdering Joshua Houlgate last summer. Another man, Chad Westbrook, has already been sentenced for shooting Houlgate. Wollett had requested a new trial claiming he was not well-represented during the original trial. After denying the request, a judge handed down Wollett's sentence.

You could tell it was difficult for Wollett but he did his best to hold it together as Judge Harman handed down his sentence. Cynthia Allaire, Wollett's aunt, said, "He has spent the last two-and-a half years in a cell for a crime he has not committed." Wollett's family is outraged and maintains he's innocent. Allaire said, "He's got post-traumatic stress from witnessing this. He was not a participant." What happened back in 2007 still haunts the Houlgate family. But Joshua Houlgate's father told KSBY News he was hoping the judge would grant Wollett a new trial. He said, "My wife and I still believe that Patrick Wollett was not given an adequate defense. We're just very sorry for the young lives so sadly affected by the tragedy of our son's murder.

While both sides agree Wollett did not shoot Houlgate, the prosecution said he still played a key role. Matt Kerrigan, Deputy District Attorney, said, "To be convicted of first degree murder, you don't have to be the person to pull the trigger." Kerrigan is aware Wollett now plans to appeal the case. Kerrigan said, "He has a right to appeal the case, I expect him to do that. But I believe in the record and I'm confident that the case will be affirmed down the road."

Wollette was also given a consecutive sentence of six years for an assault with a deadly weapon conviction. He was convicted of beating Houlgate and another woman at the scene with a bat. The witness in the case was Sarah Losinger-Rey. She had been engaged to Wollett's brother, which is what prosecutors said prompted the crime.

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