Trial begins for men charged in North Side brawl death

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The attorney for a man charged with stabbing another to death during a brawl outside his California-Kirkbride home argued Monday that his client should be protected by Pennsylvania's Castle Doctrine.

Bryan Keith Osborne, 45, is charged, along with his son, Alex Keith Osborne, 21, with killing Michael Weismantle, 26, of the North Side on Sept. 7, 2011.

Patrick Thomassey, who represents Bryan Osborne, asked Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning to dismiss the charges against his client, saying the man was defending himself and his family.

Mr. Thomassey said the fight occurred when three cars full of people showed up at the Osborne family home at 1:50 a.m. to confront the 15-year-old daughter. Bryan Osborne went outside to see what was happening, and returned into his home to call 911.

At some point, Mr. Thomassey said, Weismantle retrieved a bottle from one of the cars. "A fight ensues. My client stabs Mr. Weismantle," the lawyer said.

Mr. Thomassey argued that the state's Castle Doctrine, which allows a homeowner to protect himself instead of having to retreat, should be at play.

"This altercation takes place about 10 feet outside my client's home, where he's sleeping, and they're prosecuting him for murder," Mr. Thomassey argued.

But Assistant District Attorney Ilan Zur said the protection of the Castle Doctrine does not extend to the roadway.

Further, he said, Weismantle did not have a deadly weapon. "This altercation occurred on their street, not on the deck, or the patio, or the porch."

Judge Manning said he was denying the motion because he first needed to hear testimony about the facts in the case.

The nonjury trial will resume today.

mobilehome - neigh_city - breaking

Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620. First Published April 22, 2013 1:45 PM


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