Cases moved to juvenile court for teens accused of multi-state crime spree


A hearing was held Friday for two Ohio teenagers accused of going on a multi-state crime spree in June that included a robbery in Elizabeth. 

Rose May, 15, and Triston Kindle, 16, appeared before a judge and learned that their cases will be moved to juvenile court.

“Having them transferred Lucky Patcher latest APK Downloadback to the juvenile court is significant so they can get into some kind of treatment, for rehabilitation vs. punitive consequences in criminal court,” said Steve Townsend, May’s attorney. 

The teenagers are accused of committing multiple crimes in three states: Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Police said the spree started in Ohio, where the teens stole guns and a truck. They then made their way to Pennsylvania, where they were allegedly behind a robbery during which an officer was dragged by a vehicle at a BP gas station in Elizabeth. The duo eluded authorities for several days before surrendering in West Virginia. 

Townsend said it was bad decision making on May’s part.  “There really is no explanation. She has no explanation. She’s 15, she’s very impressionable,” he said. “What they did was unbelievable. She has no prior history with law enforcement or trouble in school, so there was no rhyme or reason why she was involved in this crime spree.”

 May has been at a juvenile detention center, and Kindle had been in the Allegheny County Jail.

When the judge asked Kindle how the jail had been, Kindle said he didn’t like it. Both teenagers are now in a juvenile detention center.  A hearing in juvenile court is scheduled Tuesday for Kindle and May.

Supreme Court says convicted felons can sell their guns

Supreme Court says convicted felons can sell their guns


WASHINGTON (AP) — A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that the government can’t prevent a convicted felon who is barred from possessing firearms from trying to sell his guns after they are confiscated by authorities.

The justices sided with Tony Henderson, a former U.S. Border Patrol agent who agreed to turn over his collection of 19 firearms to the FBI as a condition of release after he was arrested and charged with distributing marijuana.

After he pleaded guilty, Henderson wanted to sell the weapons valued at more than $3,500 to a friend, or transfer them to his wife. But lower courts found that doing so would technically give Henderson possession of the weapons in violation of the law. Prosecutors also said they were concerned that Henderson’s friend or wife might give him access to the weapons.

Writing for the court, Justice Elena Kagan said letting a convicted felon sell or transfer guns is allowed as long as a court is satisfied that the person getting the weapons won’t give the felon control over them.

“A felon cannot evade the strictures of (the law) by arranging a sham transfer that leaves him in effective control of his guns,” Kagan said.

Kagan said the district court could have ordered the guns turned over to a federally-licensed firearms dealer, who would sell them with proceeds going to Henderson. She said the lower court also could allow Henderson to transfer the guns to another person who will not allow him “to exert any influence over their use.”

She said the government’s reading of the law goes too far in saying Henderson would illegally “possess” the weapons just by being allowed to sell them.

The case had drawn the attention of gun-rights groups, including the National Rifle Association, which argued that the government’s attempt to prohibit any sale or transfer prevents law-abiding citizens who want to buy the guns from doing so.

Coraopolis Police Chief To Stand Trial In Violent Crash Case

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The Coraopolis police chief pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges connected with a crash on University Boulevard that left a woman seriously injured, and witnesses described what they saw moments before the crash.


Alan DeRusso is charged with aggravated assault by vehicle, recklessly endangering another person and a handful of driving violations after an August crash in neighboring Moon Township that sent him and another driver to the hospital.


Allegheny County police said in court papers that they could find no emergency that DeRusso would have been responding to that would have justified him running a red light on University Boulevard on the morning of Aug. 7.


The police chief was driving an unmarked police car toward Coraopolis when he crossed Thorn Run Road and T-boned a vehicle driven by Kristy Sue Grazier, who spent six days in the hospital with serious internal injuries and a concussion.


“Evidence will come out that 95 percent of calls that go through that borough are not by 911 or dispatch, they’re on personal observations,” DeRusso’s attorney, Steven Townsend, said. “The fact that they didn’t find evidence of that does not mean the evidence is absent.”


DeRusso is still the police chief, but he’s been on administrative leave since the charges were filed Jan. 14.


Police interviewed several drivers who were nearby at the time of the crash. Townsend said those witness accounts are not consistent with each other.


“We’re not disputing that there was an accident,” Townsend said. “We’re not disputing that both parties were severely injured. But the fact that this accident occurred and the way it occurred does not rise to the level of a felony.”


Grazier has returned to work, but she is still not completely recovered from the crash and has surgery scheduled for next month, said her attorney, Bob Behling.


“We’ve been waiting for the results of this investigation, and Kristy is glad it coincides with her recollections of the events that day, that she was not at fault or responsible for the accident itself,” Behling said.

Ferrante Trial Continues

“I’m not so sure that they’ve proven this case,” said attorney Steve Townsend, who is not involved in Ferrante’s trial and is providing legal analysis for WTAE. “This is the sort of case where everyone feels like he did it, but can the commonwealth prove it? And do I think they’ve done enough in this case? That’s a tough call. It really is. I think the defense has an uphill battle coming for them next week, but I’m not sure right now that the jury is convinced.”


Cyanide Poisoning Trial Day 7: Testimony includes husband-wife email, medical analysis

Dr. Robert Ferrante charged with homicide, accused of poisoning Dr. Autumn Klein; Follow #FerranteTrial on Twitter for updates
PITTSBURGH —A man with whom the prosecution says Dr. Robert Ferrante suspected his wife was cheating on him was called as a witness Friday in the seventh day of Ferrante’s homicide trial.

Also on Friday, an email was read in court about a trip that Ferrante’s wife, Dr. Autumn Klein, was scheduled to take.

VIDEO: Watch Marcie Cipriani’s report

In the email, which Ferrante sent to Klein on April 16, 2013 — the day before prosecutors claim he poisoned his wife — he wrote, “You seem to be in such a great mood up until last evening.” It went on to say, “I am obviously missing something here; it seems obvious to me now that you want to go to Boston alone.”

He told her he was sorry for inviting her parents to town and for suggesting the two of them get away together. The email went on to say, “My exuberance of going to Boston together and also having your mom celebrate Mother’s Day with us was perhaps too much. You know me. I think of the fun and not the work behind it.”

Prosecutors pointed out that “Boston” referred to a trip Klein was scheduled to make in May to visit her colleague, Dr. Thomas McElrath, who took the witness stand Friday morning.

Prosecutors say Ferrante was jealous of McElrath and did Internet searches on him.

McElrath told the jurors he and Klein attended a conference together a few months before she died, and that they had been colleagues who worked together for about eight years.

He told the jury he invited Klein and her husband to stay with him at his home, then told defense attorneys that he had never met Ferrante.

Prosecutors then called Jennifer Janssen, assistant chief toxicologist with the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office, who discussed the blood samples that were taken after Klein was admitted to a hospital.

Janssen testified that Klein’s blood tested positive for cyanide and that the ME’s office was not aware of the problems NMS Labs had until days later.

She went on to explain that because of a time lapse from when the blood was drawn to the knowledge of problems with the lab, the decision was made to not send the blood to the Mayo Clinic — a move that the defense says should have been made to get an accurate reading.

Dr. Todd Luckasevic, who conducted Klein’s autopsy, testified that his examination and information from Quest Diagnostics led him to conclude that “Dr. Autumn Marie Klein died as a result of cyanide poisoning” and that her death was a homicide.

Defense attorney Bill Difenderfer aggressively questioned Luckasevic about that on cross-examination, asking, “There are a number of ways human beings can get cyanide in their system, correct?” The doctor agreed. Then Difenderfer asked, “It all looks the same, correct?” The witness agreed once again. Then the defense questioned how cyanide in Klein’s system means that she was murdered, adding, “You don’t know how it was put there, right?” The doctor replied, “Right.”

Marla Priestley, a fingerprint expert for the ME’s Office, testified that Ferrante’s print was on a bottle of cyanide seized from his lab.

When the trial resumes Monday morning, the prosecution will call its final expert witness, who was unable to attend court Friday.

“I’m not so sure that they’ve proven this case,” said attorney Steve Townsend, who is not involved in Ferrante’s trial and is providing legal analysis for WTAE. “This is the sort of case where everyone feels like he did it, but can the commonwealth prove it? And do I think they’ve done enough in this case? That’s a tough call. It really is. I think the defense has an uphill battle coming for them next week, but I’m not sure right now that the jury is convinced.”

Townsend said the Ferrante case has been full of testimony that may be tough for the jury to follow.

“I’m not sure a lot of it they’re comprehending,” he said. “I’m not sure a lot of it I’m comprehending, with the medical and technical jargon that’s going on in there, because I don’t think either side is doing a very good job of explaining it to the jury. What I do believe they’ll come away with is the emotional testimony and the medical examiner testimony, especially since the commonwealth’s witness today saying the cause of death is consistent with cyanide.”

Allegheny County DA

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s office released the follow emails and fingerprint images from those entered in evidence today’s court proceedings against Dr. Robert Ferrante.
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Local Doctor is Not Guilty – Prescription Drug Conspiracy

Doctor found not guilty of illegally prescribing medication


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


A doctor who was charged with illegally prescribing medication to a staff member out of an East Liberty women’s clinic was found not guilty on all counts Wednesday.

John P. Barrett, 42, of Mt. Lebanon was charged in March with three counts, including selling a controlled substance, illegally dispensing and illegally administering a controlled substance.

According to the criminal complaint, the Allegheny Women’s Center, at 121 N. Highland Ave., which has since closed, was receiving large quantities of Diethylpropion, an obesity medication. There were approximately 20,000 pills unaccounted for over a four-year period from the clinic.

Investigators said they found the medicine was being used by Mark Wagner, a lab tech, who took it to treat anxiety and depression.

But prosecutors said Mr. Wagner was not a patient of Dr. Barrett, the clinic’s director, or Dr. Alton Lawson, and that the man’s psychiatrist was not aware he was taking the medication.

In July, Dr. Lawson pleaded guilty to two count of sale of a controlled substance and entered the court’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, which will clear his record after nine month of successful probation.

Mr. Wagner pleaded guilty in May to five misdemeanor counts and was sentenced to five years probation. He told investigators that he used the drug but also sold it to a friend to help her lose weight.

Dr. Barrett had a nonjury trial before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Anthony M. Mariani on Wednesday.

Defense attorney Steven C. Townsend called no witnesses, but argued to the court that even though his client’s DEA number was used to order medications for the clinic, that did not mean he was aware Mr. Wagner was using it, abusing it or not an actual patient of Dr. Lawson.

Security Guard, John Carter – Found “Not Guilty”

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.
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