Self Defense

Trial is slated to begin on August 12, 2019.  It still shocks the community that Brandon Richardson was arrested and charged.  Clearly Mr. Richardson acted in self-defense after being attacked by 5 people.  On the second attack one witnesses says he saw  one of the deceased have his hand by his waistband….”if he didn’t have one, he sure acted like he did”  Also witnesses heard the deceased making comments that they were going to “kill him and finish him off.”

 

Watch the video below.

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Woman Allegedly Forced 12-Year-Old Girl To Get Birth Control ‘Against Her Will’

KDKA Story

 

TURTLE CREEK (KDKA) – A woman facing charges for allegedly taking a 12-year-old to get birth control appeared in court Tuesday.

Turtle Creek Police say Valerie Fullum, 29-years-old, brought the young girl to a clinic to get the implant “against her will.”

An attorney representing Fullum told KDKA that the judge pushed back her hearing. Attorney Steven Townsend also said that he believes a cell phone picture snapped inside the clinic is the reason why police decided to investigate longer.

Townsend said he believes it will show that the minor was not alone with Fullum at the clinic.

“I think that the investigation is going to reveal that someone has filed false allegations and may be charged in this case and that’s why again the case was continued for an additional month,” said Townsend.

Judge Scott Schricker decided to give police and prosecutors more time and pushed back Fullum’s hearing until July 9.

Fullum, of New Brighton, is facing two felony counts of allegedly endangering the welfare of children and a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment.

She is accused of taking Misty Evans’ 12-year-old daughter to a Turtle Creek health clinic to get birth control implanted in her arm. KDKA first talked to Evans and broke the story in May.

“If she did it to my daughter, who knows how many other children she has taken up here without parents’ consent?” Evans said during the May 9 interview.

The criminal complaint said Fullum forced it upon the minor, but Townsend said that is not true.

“I can tell you that nothing that my client did was against the will or the consent of anyone involved in this case,” said Townsend.

He said the case is not about whether the minor did or did not want/ask for birth control.

“The case revolves around whether or not my client did something against this child’s will or somehow coerced or placed her under duress to consent to a medical procedure,” said Townsend.

Beaver County DA Ethics Opinion

Beaver Countian article

A county prosecutor sent a letter asking the state bar association for guidance after District Attorney David Lozier would not follow her advice to “conflict himself out” of cases filed against Aliquippa’s assistant police chief.

The bar association’s response to Assistant District Attorney Angela Reed-Strathman’s letter resulted in Lozier recusing his office from prosecuting Joseph Perciavalle’s cases, and turning them over to the state Attorney General’s Office.

BeaverCountian.com has obtained a copy of the March 20 ethics advisory opinion sent to Reed-Strathman by the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee.

At the time she reached out to the PBA, Reed-Strathman was prosecuting the cases against Perciavalle, who has been on paid administrative leave since his arrest by county detectives in June 2018.

Prior to Perciavalle’s charges, the officer had gone to Lozier repeatedly in 2016 with possible evidence of corruption in the police department.

The officer has alleged that Lozier took no action on the information he provided and that his arrests by county detectives, several of whom are former Aliquippa police officers, were acts of retaliation. Lozier denied those claims.

Perciavalle’s attorney made it clear he intended to call Lozier as a witness as part of his defense.

“Given the fact that the District Attorney will be a material witness in the case, you have recommended that he ‘conflict this case out’ but he has not indicated a willingness to do so as of this date,” the PBA wrote to Reed-Strathman in response to her request for guidance.

“Your first concern involves your concern that the District Attorney has expressed some direction that you file a motion to quash any subpoena that may be forthcoming to him. Given what you have described, it is very difficult for me to believe that the District Attorney will not be a critical, material witness for one side, the other, or both. Accordingly, you have indicated that you see no grounds to move to quash the subpoena and I am hard pressed to determine on what grounds for such a motion you might raise that could be proffered consistent with your ethical obligations.”

The PBA warned Reed-Strathman that if she followed Lozier’s direction, she could be placing herself at risk of committing serious ethics violations.

“If you do not have any reasonable, good faith argument to seek to quash that subpoena, you are at serious risk of an ethical violation by filing such a motion simply because a person in authority to you has directed you to do so. The ethical obligations of counsel are personal and cannot be averted because of a direction from a superior. You should thus discuss this matter again with the District Attorney to insure a proper course of action.”

Lozier’s decision to personally meet with Perciavalle about his claims against the Aliquippa Police Department placed the district attorney’s office in a unique position and as a result the PBA recommended it be recused from the case.

“The case is truly an unusual one in which the District Attorney, in the proper exercise of his function, has become a material witness in a matter in which the import of his testimony will most likely be contested and may be the ultimate fact on which the case turns. Referral to the Attorney General would reflect that unique complexity in the case and not imply any reluctance on the part of your office that justice be served here.”

Perciavalle was first arrested by county detectives on June 8, 2018 on charges of felony distribution of sexually explicit material to a minor, felony unlawful contact with a minor, and misdemeanor corruption of a minor.

County detectives alleged that Perciavalle sent then-17-year-old Lauren Watkins a text message containing a short video of a semi-nude woman urinating while on a swing.

Both Perciavalle and Watkins have said the “meme” video was sent to her by mistake as part of a group text message intended for her father, Aliquippa Police Sgt. Kenneth Watkins, who has since been demoted to patrolman.

The video was discovered when detectives were examining Lauren Watkins’ phone as part of their investigation into the 2018 Mother’s Day murder of Rachael DelTondo.

During a preliminary hearing on Dec. 4, Watkins testified that the clip was accidentally sent to her by Perciavalle, and that she had not viewed it until she was shown a copy by county detectives as part of their investigation.

District Judge Edward Howe subsequently dismissed the two felony charges of disseminating sexually explicit materials and unlawful contact with a minor, but held for trial the misdemeanor corruption of minors charge.

Howe also held for court a charge from a second case filed by county detectives alleging a felony wiretap violation for a recording Perciavalle made of Aliquippa Police Chief Donald Couch, who is also currently on administrative suspension. County detectives discovered the recording while searching Perciavalle’s phone which they seized following his first arrest.

Perciavalle argues his recording of Couch was lawful, because he had been acting as an informant against Couch and had reason to fear there may be an attempt to intimidate him.

Following the PBA’s ethics guidance, the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office recused itself from prosecuting Perciavalle. The Attorney General’s Office then took over prosecution of the cases against him and on May 9 refiled the two felony charges against him that were dismissed by Howe last year.

The results were the same, with a second judge dismissing the case.

Defense attorney Steven Townsend strongly criticized the Attorney General’s Office for refiling the charges against Perciavalle, echoing his clients assertions that he believes what the public is witnessing is retaliation against a whistleblower.

In a motion still pending before the court, Townsend is asking a common pleas judge to dispose of the remaining corruption of a minor charge from Dec. 4, saying the case can not stand as a matter of law when the underlying offenses have all been dismissed. Townsend also has a motion pending to suppress the recorded conversation between Perciavalle and Couch, alleging county detectives overstepped the authority of their search warrant when going through Perciavalle’s phone.

The PBA’s Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee concluded its advisory letter by praising Reed-Strathman for reaching out to them for guidance.

“You are to be commended for recognizing the ethical issues present in this situation. It may be that you should ask (District Attorney David Lozier) to similarly seek ethical guidance in how to proceed given that the (ethics rule in question) is most directly applicable to him in this circumstance.”

BeaverCountian.com contributing editor Lori Boone contributed to this report.

Explosive Details Revealed

Channel 11 has uncovered new details about alleged corruption in the Aliquippa Police Department.

Reporter Amy Marcinkiewicz spoke with Steve Townsend, the attorney for Joe Perciavalle, the former police chief who is facing charges for allegedly sending sexually explicit messages to a 17-year-old girl.

Click HERE for the entire story.

Ex-Pittsburgh cop charged with lying to FBI had relationship with bank robbery suspect’s mom

By Shelly Brandbury – sbradbury@post-gazette.com

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Click here for the whole Story.

“It’s over,” attorney Steven Townsend said of the relationship. “It wasn’t very strong to begin with. But certainly after the charges came out it ceased to exist.”

The connection between Mr. Cain, Kane and Richards has not been previously reported. Mr. Townsend said he was not sure when the pair’s relationship began, but posts on Kane’s Facebook page suggest the relationship was going on in 2016, which is when Kane put up a photo of herself in a close embrace with Mr. Cain, along with comments about how Mr. Cain was her boyfriend and “the love of my life.”

Aliquippa Asst. Police Chief’s Attorney Tells Judge He Intends To Call D.A. Lozier As A Witness (Listen To The Recording)

The Beaver Countian

An attorney for the suspended Aliquippa assistant police chief has motioned for a charge dismissal hearing ahead of the scheduled May 6 trial, has notified the judge he intends to call District Attorney David Lozier as a witness, and has asked to have the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office disqualified from prosecuting the case.

Joseph Perciavalle faces a misdemeanor charge of corrupting a minor and a felony violation of the Wiretap Act.

Defense Attorney Steven Townsend included with his motion a copy of the disputed recorded conversation between Perciavalle and Police Chief Donald Couch, who is also suspended. The recording had previously been played in its entirety in open court by prosecutors during a preliminary hearing for Perciavalle on Dec. 4.

Townsend wrote that he will call Lozier to testify at the hearing, which will make him a witness and that he is legally prohibited from prosecuting a case in which he is a witness.

“As such, it is respectfully requested that this Court disqualify the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting this case,” he concluded.

Former Duquesne Basketball Player, Nick Washington, Innocent

Click the link below to listen to Nick’s story

For 18 months, I had been accused of crimes I did not commit’: Former Duquesne University basketball player talks about rape charges being dropped

Below is the real story and why the DA had evidentiary issues.

K. B. is no longer an “alleged victim of sexual assault”.  She wasn’t a victim September 2017 and certainly is not a victim now.   K.B. was not forced to accept the plea agreement. She chose to accept the offer as recommended to her by the Commonwealth.

Nicholas Washington never asked for a plea agreement and was prepared to go to trial.  The unsolicited offer was submitted to Mr. Washington’s by the District Attorney’s Office, days before trial was to begin.  The Commonwealth encouraged K.B. to accept the plea because her unsubstantiated claims were simply incredible and the evidence did not support her story.

It was  her idea to go back to the dorm room, with the intent to have consensual sex.  It was K.B. who told the police she never said no.

K. B. did not want to expose herself to the truth in open court so she read her victim impact statement, knowing she would not be subject to cross examination.  That cross examination would have included questions regarding her own statements on the night of the incident.  It would have included statements she gave to the police, which were stipulated to by the prosecution, that Mr. Washington was innocent of the allegations and had done nothing wrong.

Whether you are a prosecuting attorney or a defense attorney, we are all bound by certain ethical duties.  As a prosecutor those duties include, refraining from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause.  If there had been probable cause, there would have been absolutely no reason to withdraw the charges.  Had the Commonwealth believed her story, that alone could have provided support to proceed in the prosecution.  Had this case proceeded to trial it would have been clear that Ms. Battin fabricated her story.  It would have been abundantly clear that what she alleged was completely false.

If the justice system failed, it failed Nick Washington.  For 18 months his life was put on hold.  Between the time of the allegation and the day conveying an offer nothing had changed.  Probable cause to support the charges never existed.

Mr. Washington pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct, which is the lowest level, non-sexually related misdemeanor in Pennsylvania.  Mr. Washington pleaded guilty despite his innocence, only due to the inherent risks of going to trial as a young black man.

Case Withdrawn

It took almost a year to obtain justice, but finally the case was dismissed.  Ms. Busia was wrongly charged with a number of serious felony offenses by an over zealous officer.  She lost her job, had to fight for her unemployment, and has suffered unimaginable embarrassment from the start.  After succeeding in her unemployment hearings and a lot of hard work and patience, Ms. Busia’s case is over.  The entire case was withdrawn by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office as we were prepared to pick a jury on January 16, 2019.

Steven Townsend

 

WPXI Report

Justified Use of Deadly Force

Case against man charged with killing 2 people outside gas station headed to trial

Video

 

AMBRIDGE, Pa. – The case against the man accused in the shooting deaths of two men who he said were part of a group that attacked him at an Ambridge gas station last month will move forward.

Brandon Lee Richardson, 31, was surrounded by supporters Friday during a preliminary hearing.

The judge heard testimony from two Ambridge police officers who told the judge they saw multiple shell casings, blood and a bullet hole in a silver sedan.

The prosecutor played surveillance video for the judge that the defense attorney said showed Richardson being jumped while standing at the back of his car and being beaten, kicked and punched.

Richardson’s attorney, Steve Townsend, said his client fired only after the group of five walked away and two came back and continued the assault. Brandon Everett and Lamar Seymour died in the shooting.

According to Townsend, Richardson didn’t know the people who allegedly jumped him, and everyone involved was at a bar in the evening, but nothing happened there.

Richardson, who Townsend says has stage 4 prostate cancer, was held for trial on all charges.

 

Pennsylvania Use of Force: Title 18 Pa.C.S.A. Sec. 505

Use of force in self-protection.

(a)  Use of force justifiable for protection of the person.The use of force upon or toward another person is justifiable when the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.

(2)  The use of deadly force is not justifiable under this section unless the actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat;