A man convicted twice for a 2014 murder in Grand Forks has been denied his appeal of an order denying his application for post-conviction relief, effectively blocking his path to a third trial.
Delvin Shaw, 36, is currently serving a life sentence for breaking into an apartment and fatally shooting one of the residents, Jose Luis Lopez, on June 24, 2014.
According to court documents, Lopez and his pregnant fiance were asleep in their living room when two men kicked in their door and entered their apartment. Lopez charged the men, and in court testimony, his fiance recalled hearing shots fired. Lopez died from four gun shot wounds later that morning at Altru Health System.
Investigators said Shaw and his accomplice, Dametrian Welch, had intended to break into the apartment directly above Lopez’s. Welch is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence for his involvement in the burglary.
Shaw was found guilty of murder and burglary nearly a year later. One year after that, the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled that the Grand Forks County District Court did not properly instruct the jury on considering some of the evidence in the trial, and Shaw was given a second trial in 2017, where he was again found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
On Jan. 28, 2018, Shaw was denied a third trial by the state Supreme Court. In November 2019, he again requested a third trial using a different legal route: he applied for post-conviction relief, which allows a defendant to bring more evidence or raise additional issues after a judgment has been made. Among his arguments for post-conviction relief were illegal collection of evidence by police to claims that witnesses and police committed perjury while testifying against him, to name a few.
When his application for post-conviction relief was denied, Shaw appealed the decision, arguing that his appellate council was ineffective. However, in a post-conviction evidentiary hearing, Shaw failed to demonstrate any actual prejudice, failing to prove his counsel was ineffective, according to an opinion filed by the North Dakota Supreme Court.
In the opinion, the court found that the earlier decision to deny Shaw post-conviction relief was not erroneous, and that he did, in fact, fail to pass the legal threshold proving his counsel was ineffective.
Shaw has largely represented himself in his legal proceedings.