Metro Beat…Duquesne mother faults police after teen son is slain

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PITTSBURGH (AP) – A western Pennsylvania mother says authorities failed her and her 15-year-old son, who was slain after he testified in another criminal case.

Vickie Powell of Duquesne says police didn’t tell her about the county’s witness protection program until after LeRoy Powell’s video testimony was released to the media, prompting a wave of threats.

Powell testified on July 30 and was shot in the early afternoon of Aug. 6 near his Duquesne home. Powell initially told police he saw another 15-year-old boy carrying a gun moments before his pregnant friend was shot. But he changed his story at the preliminary hearing.

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office says that in retrospect they should have made a stronger effort to tell the family about possible consequences of playing the video in court.

Man convicted of shooting at Pittsburgh police officer

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A western Pennsylvania man has been convicted of attempted homicide in an exchange of gunfire with a Pittsburgh police officer almost two years ago.

Jurors in Allegheny County deliberated for about four hours Thursday before also convicting 26-year-old Tiant Mitchell of Stanton Heights of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and several other counts. He was acquitted of one count of simple assault.

Police said he shot an officer responding to a domestic disturbance at his home in October 2012. The officer was hit in his bulletproof vest and returned fire, wounding Mitchell.

Defense attorney Lisa Phillips argued that her client fired at the vehicle, not the officer, and didn’t know it was a police officer because it was dark and the vehicle’s lights and sirens weren’t on.

2 to face charges after wife shot with gun in bra

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh police plan to charge a married couple after the woman was accidentally shot in the arm when her husband reached for her cellphone – which the woman carried in her bra along with the gun – during an argument on the street.

The Associated Press is not naming the Carnegie couple because police had yet to file charges Thursday. The incident occurred about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

That’s when police say the 35-year-old husband reached for the cellphone, accidentally hitting the gun in the process. The gun fired, wounding the woman in the arm. She ran to nearby Allegheny General Hospital for treatment.

Police intend to charge the man with aggravated assault under Pennsylvania’s domestic violence laws. The woman will be charged with carrying an unlicensed firearm.

Paper: Port Authority drivers among highest-paid

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Public records show that six of the eight highest-paid employees at the Allegheny County Port Authority were bus drivers, some of whom earned about $80,000 in overtime pay.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://bit.ly/1ygDuRD ) reports Saturday that after CEO Ellen McLean, who made $187,000, and COO Bill Miller, who made $136,000, all of the next six highest-paid people in fiscal 2014 were drivers. Base pay for a driver is about $55,000 but one earned over $135,000.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 President Steve Palonis says some of the top earners worked seven days a week or double shifts. Palonis says the drivers sacrifice home life and should be applauded.

Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie says reduced staffing because of funding uncertainty contributed to the overtime, but they are now hiring drivers.

Key witness slain in pregnant teen’s shooting

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Police were searching for two suspects who ambushed and fatally shot a 15-year-old boy who was a key witness in the shooting of his pregnant 15-year-old friend.

Allegheny County homicide detectives identified the victim of Wednesday’s shooting as Leroy Powell, of Duquesne.

Powell initially told police he saw another 15-year-old Duquesne boy, Eric Taylor, carrying a gun moments before Powell’s friend – DaRae Delgado – was shot on May 26. Delgado was seven months pregnant and survived, but her unborn child did not.

At a preliminary hearing last month, Powell changed his story and testified he didn’t see Taylor with a gun. Taylor was still ordered to stand trial as an adult in the Delgado shooting, based on other evidence.

Police were attempting to determine if Powell was shot for being a witness in the Taylor case.

Highmark warns of fake recruiter seeking ID info

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh-based health insurer Highmark Inc. is warning people that a fake job recruiter has been contacting people, apparently seeking personal identify information from people over the phone.

Highmark spokesman Aaron Billger tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1otGDYE ) that police haven’t been contacted because, so far, nobody contacted by the caller has given up any personal information.

Billger says 14 people have contacted Highmark to say they were called and told they were being offered a job. Most, but not all, of those contacted hadn’t applied for jobs with Highmark.

Highmark says anyone who suspects they’re being targeted by a fake recruiter should contact the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and their local police.

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Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com

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