Appeal denied for convicted murder James Michael Bidwell

March 31, 2022

James Michael Bidwell

On March 30, 2022, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an Order denying the Petition for Allowance of Appeal of James Michael Bidwell.  Mr. Bidwell was seeking appeal to the Supreme Court to try to overturn his 2020 murder conviction for the killing of Kristin Wagner.  The case was prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso and defended by James McMonagle of Philadelphia.  

The case was originally ruled a suicide when the body of Kristin Wagner was found hanging in a broken refrigerated trailer in a scrap yard owned by Bidwell located off of Crowe Road in East Stroudsburg in June of 2011.  

In June of 2014 the case was reopened after information was received that Bidwell actually strangled Ms. Wagner and staged the scene in an effort to make the death appear as a suicide.  The case proceeded through the Monroe County Investigating Grand Jury.  Mancuso eventually obtained a Presentment from the Grand Jury recommending that Bidwell be charged with the murder of Kristin Wagner.  The case went to trial in February of 2020, just before the pandemic, and approximately three (3) dozen witnesses testified for the Commonwealth.  At the conclusion of the trial the jury convicted Bidwell of first degree murder and other charges.  He was sentenced in July of 2020 by President Judge Margherita Patti-Worthington to life without parole.  

The lead detectives on the case were Detective Sergeant Wendy Serfass and Detective Richard Luthcke, both of the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division. 

The Supreme Court’s denial of Bidwell’s appeal effectively marks the end of his direct appeal rights in the matter. 

For further information please contact First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso at

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