Lawyer to seek voice lineup to clear teen accused of attempting to murder blind neighbor

Posted: August 05, 2013

THE ATTORNEY for a Holmesburg teenager accused of trying to murder his blind neighbor by turning on her gas stove during a burglary will ask a judge to order that a "voice lineup" be convened.

Such a lineup would likely help clear Tomayo McDuffy's name because his accuser has only heard him say "hi" once or twice, defense attorney Beverly Muldrow said after a court hearing yesterday.

"Let's see if she can identify his voice," she said of Maria Colon, 54, who told police she heard McDuffy and another male in her Marple Street home the night of May 3.

She also told police that her guide dog, Yolanda, chased the burglars away and dialed 9-1-1.

McDuffy, 18, was arrested hours later, though his finger prints were not found in Colon's home and nothing was taken, Muldrow said.

The teen's family alleges he was at home sick with the flu May 3.

Still, police charged McDuffy with attempted murder and 12 related counts.

He was initially held on $500,000 bail, which was reduced to $100,000 on July 17, according to court records.

After a July 19 preliminary hearing McDuffy was held for trial.

During yesterday's hearing, Muldrow asked that the bail amount be reduced again because her client's family did not have the required 10 percent - $10,000.

The request drew a sharp rebuke from Assistant District Attorney Melissa Francis.

"The only thing that changed is he's now been held for court on some very serious charges," she said. "If anything, the bail should be raised."

Common Pleas Judge Paula Patrick kept the bail at $100,000.

Muldrow told Patrick that in addition to filing a motion for a voice lineup, she also would be filing motions to get a copy of Colon's recently expired driver's license and to get police records related to a prior claim Colon made of being the victim of rape and a home invasion.

Muldrow contends that Colon made up the rape allegation and numerous other claims she's made.

The fact that Colon recently had a driver's license would indicate that she lied about being totally blind during McDuffy's the preliminary hearing, Muldrow said.

"It's a real crazy situation. Why would someone say they are blind when they are not? Why would she say this kid came into her home when he did not? It's just what [Colon] does."


On Twitter: @MensahDean

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