Hardy Lloyd, a self-styled white supremacist from Squirrel Hill, yesterday was ordered to stand trial for the shooting death last month of a former legal secretary from Forest Hills whom he had been dating.Steve Mellon, Post-Gazette
Hardy Lloyd is escorted to a preliminary hearing yesterday at which he was ordered to stand trial in the shooting death of Lori Hann.
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Allegheny County Deputy Coroner Timothy G. Uhrich, who presided over a coroner's inquest into the killing, rejected preliminary arguments by defense attorneys that Lloyd acted in self defense.
Caroline M. Roberto, one of Lloyd's defense attorneys, had argued that Lloyd fatally shot Lori Hann because he might have reasonably believed that she was going to shoot him.
The mortally wounded body of Hann, a divorced 41-year-old, was found at about 11 p.m. Aug. 3 on the front porch of a residence in the 5400 block of Beacon Street in Squirrel Hill. She had been shot once in the head.
A swift police investigation led detectives to Lloyd. Hann's friends told police that the couple had met on the Internet, though the nature of their relationship is not clear.
Pittsburgh homicide Detective George Trosky, the only witness called to testify at yesterday's inquest, said that Lloyd admitted that he shot Hann.
According to Trosky, Lloyd said that Hann was angry with him because he was out with another woman when he had agreed to meet her at his Squirrel Hill apartment.
When he arrived for the meeting about 90 minutes late, Hann demanded that he get into her car, and she drove off. About five minutes later, she parked in front of the residence on Beacon Street while the couple continued to argue.
At one point in the car, Trosky said Lloyd told him, Hann pulled a .357 Magnum revolver from the console and pointed it at him. A moment later she got out of the vehicle and walked up to the porch of a resident that neither of them knew.
Lloyd followed her. When he got within about six feet of Hann, he called to her and she turned with her hands above her head. Lloyd said that he did not know whether she still was holding her weapon. So, he pulled a .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol from his pants pocket and fired a single round that struck her above the left eye.
"He aimed and fired, and he watched her fall. Then he ran," Trosky testified.
At a bus stop, Lloyd used his cell phone to call his new girlfriend, Lisa Donato of Carrick, to pick him up.
Lloyd and Donato drove to his apartment, where he collected some clothing and three more handguns that he tossed into the Monongahela River near the Waterfront complex in West Homestead.
Lloyd told police that he believed he lost the weapon used to shoot Hann when he fell while running from the scene of the incident.
Two handguns were found near the scene.
Lloyd told investigators that he had a criminal record and could not buy guns, so Hann bought them for him in her name.
Roberto argued after the hearing that, because First Assistant District Attorney Edward J. Borkowski relied solely on Lloyd's statement to have the charges held for court, then the court should recognize that details of his version of events suggest he might have acted in self defense.
Uhrich denied Roberto's motion to dismiss the more serious homicide counts, first- and third-degree murder, and order a trial only on charges of voluntary manslaughter.
Borkowski argued that such a ruling would go against Uhrich's mandate at the preliminary hearing stage to view evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecutor's case.
Jim McKinnon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1939.