Brookline woman's jailing tied to feud

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A Brookline woman accused of threatening harm to the daughter of a Pittsburgh police sergeant was held over for court Tuesday after a preliminary hearing.

Devonna Johnson, 42, became hysterical as she was led out of the courtroom, shouting to her lawyer, "I can't do this, Erika. I can't do this. Oh my God."

She is being held on a $1 million bond on charges of retaliation and intimidation.

District Judge Derwin Rushing threw out a charge of terroristic threats.

Her defense attorney, Erika Kreisman, said the bond amount in the case is too high. She asked the judge to reduce it, but he refused.

She plans to file a similar motion in Common Pleas Court.

The trouble between Ms. Johnson and Sgt. David Meade, who is her neighbor on Whited Street, began in June 2011, when he was off-duty and broke up a fight involving the woman's boyfriend, Mark Samuels, and son, Lamont Williams, and someone else in the neighborhood.

The sergeant is a witness in the case, and prosecutors claim Ms. Johnson and her family have targeted him to try to prevent him from testifying.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, police suspect that Ms. Johnson and her "associates" were behind the burglary of Sgt. Meade's home, the shooting of a neighbor's car that looked like his and several verbal threats aimed at the sergeant and his family. Ms. Johnson has not been charged in any of those incidents.

On Nov. 11, an informant contacted police to say he overheard Ms. Johnson tell another woman, "Since they already know we're going after the cop's daughter, anyways, that makes it easier for us to get her, but instead of snatching her like we were planning to do, we've just decided to run her over and make it look like a traffic accident," according to the complaint.

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Paula Reed Ward: or 412-263-2620. Liz Navratil contributed.


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