Guard, John Carter, not guilty in Pittsburgh shooting
Three-day trial ends in mixed views about verdict
By Paula Reed Ward / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Verona security guard charged with aggravated assault after shooting a man accused of stealing from a delivery truck in Homewood was found not guilty Wednesday.
John Carter, 54, testified on his own behalf during the three-day trial before Common Pleas Judge Joseph K. Williams III.
The jury only deliberated about 30 minutes before returning its verdict.
Defense attorney Steven Townsend said his client should never have been charged.
“I have no idea why they pursued a case like this,” he said. “It was clear from statements, witness accounts and the video — John Carter was defending himself after being robbed.”
But District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said if the same circumstances were presented to him again, charges would again be filed.
Mr. Carter was charged with shooting Edward Brown Jr. on Oct. 2 as he ran away.
According to Pittsburgh police, Brown took a jitney to Baker’s Dairy on Hamilton Avenue that day, knowing a truck for the Triangle Tobacco & Candy Co. regularly made deliveries.
Brown walked to the back of the truck, tugged on a bungee cord attached to a container holding money, grabbed more than $1,100 and ran.
Mr. Carter, who worked on the truck, told police when he was first questioned that he chased Brown, heard someone scream that there was another person and then saw Brown stop and reach toward his waistband. That’s when he fired, he said, to defend himself.
But prosecutors said a video taken from a Port Authority bus did not show Brown “stopping and turning around as Mr. Carter reported.”
“I think he was defending his employment,” Mr. Zappala said. “We’re a society of laws, and you can’t shoot somebody who tries to steal from you.”
But Mr. Townsend disagreed.
“John Carter’s actions were certainly justified.”
He said his client is looking forward to regaining his permit to carry a firearm, as well as getting his job back as a security guard.
Brown pleaded guilty to theft in May before Judge Anthony M. Mariani and was sentenced to serve two years’ probation and pay restitution.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/08/20/Verona-security-guard-not-guilty-aggravated-assault-Homewood/stories/201408200169#ixzz3B1YqKH8y