Theft charges against convicted killer withdrawn

Montgomery County Courthouse

COURTHOUSE — A Collegeville man who was convicted of first degree murder in June has had unrelated charges of retail theft withdrawn by the district attorney’s office, according to paperwork filed in the clerk of courts on Monday.

Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy signed the order to withdraw misdemeanor charges of retail theft and theft against 24-year-old Max Stine on Monday.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on May 10, 2012, officers responded to the Walmart on the 600 block of Trooper Road in West Norriton for a report of an employee who was in custody for theft. The police officers met with the loss prevention manager who stated that Stine, who worked there at the time, had allegedly stolen approximately $190 in merchandise.

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The arresting affidavit states that the store began investigating Stine on May 3, 2012, when he was allegedly observed taking food from the shelf without paying.

Prosecuting Attorney Thomas McGoldrick said the retail theft charges were withdrawn because Stine was already convicted of first-degree murder and will be serving life in prison. He said it wouldn’t make sense to go through a jury trial on misdemeanor charges of retail theft.

At the time of the alleged retail thefts, Stine had not yet been arrested for the July 2011 murder. He was not arrested until March 2013 in Los Angeles, Calif.

After a five day jury trial in June, Stine was found guilty of the murder of 24-year-old Norristown man Jesus Medrano-Mendoza.

McGoldrick said on Tuesday that Stine is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 21 at 1:30 p.m. in front of Judge Smyth. Stine is looking at a mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole for the first degree murder conviction. In June, Stine was also found guilty of aggravated assault, three counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count of possession of a weapon with criminal intent.

In the early hours of July 11, 2011, after walking a friend back to her apartment, Medrano-Mendoza was approached by a man with a knife, later identified as Paul Hernandez, who wanted to fight him.

During the trial, Hernandez testified that after Medrano-Mendoza pulled out his own knife, Stine came into the alley and fired an AK-47 at Medrano-Mendoza and down Haws Alley, where bullets hit two bystanders. Medrano-Mendoza died shortly after the shooting. The two other victims, one man and one woman, survived the shooting.