PITTSBURGH (AP) – The attorney for a man charged in a fatal shooting after an argument at a Pittsburgh hot dog shop says his client was defending himself, though police say surveillance video shows he shot the victim in the back as the other man was running away.
Still, attorney Blaine Jones contends 22-year-old Isiah Smith, of Pittsburgh, “was getting beat up” before he shot and killed 24-year-old Zachary Sheridan.
Police say two groups argued outside the Original Hot Dog Shop around 3:30 a.m. Saturday before Sheridan was shot.
Jones says Smith suffered a concussion and needed eight stitches after being hit by Sheridan, who had stepped between Smith and another man.
Police say Smith was permitted to carry the 9mm pistol, but had warned, “We don’t want to take it this far” before the shooting.
Pittsburgh man jailed for fatally beating his dog
PITTSBURGH (AP) – A Pittsburgh man was sentenced to nine to 23 months in jail for fatally beating his German shepherd, and was jailed immediately when his wife balked at surrendering another dog.
Sixty-year-old Darwin Jones pleaded guilty to animal cruelty in June after a witness told police she saw him hit the animal 30 to 40 times with a 6-foot pry bar in January.
Allegheny County Judge Donald Machen offered to give Jones 30 days to report to jail, provided he let police seize another dog. Jones agreed, but the judge called him back into the courtroom and ordered him immediately to jail after overhearing Jones’ wife refuse to surrender the other dog.
Jones told the judge he beat the dog after it ate rat poison. But the judge believed Jones merely lost his temper.
Businessman pleads guilty in Pa. police computer scam
PITTSBURGH (AP) – A businessman has pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe a city official to get a $327,000 contract to put radios in city police cars but his lawyer says the former police chief came up with the idea.
Arthur Bedway’s defense lawyer Martin Dietz told a federal judge andlater, after Bedway’s guilty plea, that former Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper hatched the plan involving the company.
Although Bedway acknowledges wrongdoing, Dietz says the idea for the bogus contract was Harper’s and that he got $10,000 from Bedway for thinking up the plan.
Harper resigned in February and was indicted on separate charges related to a secret police slush fund. He has denied wrongdoing in connection with the Bedway contract.
Harper’s defense lawyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
W. Pa. mayor marries gay men with E. Pa. license
BRADDOCK, Pa. (AP) – A Pittsburgh-area mayor has married two men who obtained a license from an eastern Pennsylvania county official who has issued more than 60 licenses to same-sex couples despite a state law that defines marriage as a contract between one man and one woman.
Braddock Mayor John Fetterman tells KDKA-TV (http://cbsloc.al/18ZT6i0) he performed the ceremony Monday night because he believes Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act is “a fundamentally unjust piece of legislation.”
The Corbett administration has sued to stop Montgomery County clerk D. Bruce Hanes from issuing more licenses, while that county’s attorneys are defending Hanes’ right to violate a law the official believes is unconstitutional.
John Kandray and Bill Gray, of Pittsburgh, say they’ve been together for 11 years and Gray says they got married to prove their commitment to one another.
Information from: KDKA-TV, http://www.kdka.com
Dying 2-year-old is Pa. couple’s best man
JEANNETTE, Pa. (AP) – A two-year-old boy with only weeks to live served as the best man for his parents Pennsylvania wedding.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://bit.ly/W4JRFL ) reports that Christine Swidorsky carried two-year-old Logan Stevenson on her shoulder at the Saturday afternoon wedding in Jeannette, a suburb of Pittsburgh.
Looking dapper in a tiny tan pin-stripe suit and orange shirt, Logan stood with his grandmother, Debbie Stevenson, during a ceremony uniting Logan’s mother and his father, Sean Stevenson. The boy has leukemia and other complications.
The couple tied the knot in a hastily arranged backyard ceremony that celebrated Logan’s life. The couple abandoned an original wedding date of July 2014 after learning from doctors late last month that their son had two to three weeks to live.
Burglars take $80,000 of phones from Verizon store
MCCANDLESS, Pa. (AP) – Burglars smashed the window of a Verizon store outside of Pittsburgh and took every phone.
Police say surveillance video shows someone using a crowbar to smash through the front door of the McCandless business Friday night, TV station WPXI (http://bit.ly/13L3i8A ) reports.
The manager says every phone in the store was taken and they were worth about $80,000.
Despite the theft and mess the store is open for regular hours on Saturday.
No arrests have been made.
Police: Johnstown boy, 12, robs lemonade stand with BB-gun
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) – A 12-year-old boy is being charged with using a BB-gun to rob a 10-year-old boy who was running a lemonade stand in western Pennsylvania.
Police in Johnstown aren’t identifying the suspect, because he’ll be charged in juvenile court where most cases remain confidential.
Sgt. Patrick Goggin says the incident happened about 5:45 p.m. Monday when the 12-year-old approached the stand with what appeared to be a handgun in his pocket and threatened the younger boy. Goggin says the boys “got into a wrestling match over the money box” before the older boy took $30 and ran away.
The suspect was chased home by three other kids who helped police track down the robber. That’s when police determined the boy had a BB-gun.
Johnstown is about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh.
Police: Pittsburgh school van driver faces DUI
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Police have charged a Pittsburgh Public Schools employee with driving a school van while under the influence of medication or some other kind of drug.
Online court records don’t list an attorney for 37-year-old William Jester, who also doesn’t have a phone listed at the address listed for him in court records.
City police arrested Jester at a school building parking lot where detectives followed him after seeing the van being driven erratically on Thursday. Police say Jester crossed the center line of the road and nearly crashed several times before he stopped.
Jester denied drinking, but police say he told them he was on medication. Blood test results were still pending Friday.
School district spokeswoman Ebony Pugh says Jester has been suspended. She says he was driving a school van that isn’t used to transport students.
Rivers casino ATM manager charged with stealing $24K
PITTSBURGH (AP) – A northwestern Pennsylvania man who audited automatic teller machines at Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino has been charged with stealing nearly $24,000 from the machines.
Online court records don’t list an attorney for 49-year-old David Cauvel, of McKean, who had been a branch manager of Loomis ATM Services when the incident occurred July 24.
State police say Cauvel and another employee audited one machine after a woman who tried to get three $20 bills from the machine instead got three $100 bills.
The other employee noted that when Cauvel used a money counter to tally a stack of $100s, that some of the bills had been replaced by $20s. The employee then contacted casino security who contacted state police who say they found Cauvel had $23,800 in $100 bills in his pants and vehicle.
Pittsburgh man sentenced for bomb threats
PITTSBURGH (AP) – A Pittsburgh man who made a series of bomb threats has been sentenced to two years in prison.
Authorities say 23-year-old Termaine Washington used a stolen cellphone to call the Allegheny County 911 Center in 2012 and claim that bombs would go off at the Allegheny County Jail, PNC Park, and a Port Authority light-rail station in Pittsburgh.
Prosecutors say Washington made the calls from Sept. 15-19, demanding the release of all of the jail’s inmates three times and also the release of an inmate he referred to only as “my boy Chuck.”
U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak also sentenced Washington to three years of probation.
Kennywood Park roller coaster gets stuck, riders rescued
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. (AP) – Officials at a western Pennsylvania amusement park say a sensor issue caused a roller coaster to stop mid-ride, but that the riders on board were rescued without incident.
It happened Tuesday afternoon on the “Phantom’s Revenge” ride at Kennywood Amusement Park near Pittsburgh. Officials say the ride automatically stopped in the middle of the first big hill after the sensor malfunctioned.
Kennywood personnel then walked the riders down a stairwell along the coaster’s lift hill, opting not to make them wait while technicians checked out the problem.
The ride was back up and running about an hour later.
Police: PFA suspect flees with Pa. woman’s infant
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pittsburgh man has been jailed on charges he kidnapped his 2-week-old son by jumping out a second-floor window when police tried to serve an emergency protection-from-abuse order against him at his ex-girlfriend’s home.
Online court records don’t list an attorney for 32-year-old Justin Comans, who told reporters all “All I did was take my son into my house. That’s all I did.”
Police say Comans had the baby strapped to his body in an infant carrier when he jumped out of his ex-girlfriend’s residence and ran away just after midnight Monday. She is the mother of the child.
Police say they found Comans at his home about 6:30 a.m. where he surrendered with the baby.
Comans faces a preliminary hearing Aug. 7 on charges of kidnapping, interference in the custody of children, and endangerment charges.
Carnegie man charged with shooting stepdad over TV
PITTSBURGH (AP) – A 19-year-old man has been jailed on charges he fatally shot his stepfather during a dispute over a television at a Pittsburgh residence.
Online court records don’t list an attorney for Aaron Israel, of Carnegie, who was jailed without bond after his arraignment Monday.
Police say Israel’s mother had asked him to change the locks on her home after she and her husband, 45-year-old Kevin Kirkland, had a domestic dispute over the weekend.
Police say Kirkland forced his way into the home about 2:30 a.m. and accused Israel of stealing a TV, which had actually just been moved to another room in the house without Kirkland’s knowledge.
During the dispute, Israel – who is Kirkland’s stepson – began fighting with Kirkland’s birth son. Police say Israel shot the elder Kirkland when he intervened.