Homicide in Pittsburgh's California-Kirkbride area described

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A woman testified Tuesday that her brother was unarmed when he was killed with a meat cleaver by a father and son in California-Kirkbride.

Mialeah Weismantle told Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning that it looked like Bryan Osborne, 45, and his son, Alex Osborne, 21, "jumped" her brother, Michael, during a fight on the street on Sept. 7, 2011.

The two men are charged with homicide in Michael Weismantle's death. Their nonjury trial began Monday. The Osbornes claim self-defense and argue that the Weismantles showed up at their home to assault them.

Ms. Weismantle testified that she, her brother, boyfriend and younger sister went to the Osborne home about 1:45 a.m. that day to recover the younger woman's belongings from her friend who lived there.

However, the situation quickly escalated into a fight -- at first between the two teenaged girls.

"They were fighting for about two minutes, then started hugging and crying," Ms. Weismantle said. "They were telling each other 'sorry.' "

At some point during the altercation, Alex and Bryan Osborne exited their home, and the younger man started arguing with Michael Weismantle, who threw a 40-ounce Budweiser bottle in Alex Osborne's direction, the woman testified.

She said Alex Osborne then went into his house and returned with the meat cleaver. With Bryan Osborne holding Michael Weismantle's arms back, the witness said, Alex Osborne attacked the 27-year-old man with the weapon.

During the attack, Ms. Weismantle said she heard Alex Osborne say, " 'This is how we do it.' "

But Patrick Thomassey, who represents Bryan Osborne, claims the man was trying to defend himself.

Repeatedly, the defense attorney asked Ms. Weismantle if a third knife found at the scene that night belonged to her brother. She denied it.

Earlier in the day, Pittsburgh police Officer Anthony Roseto testified that when he first arrived at the Kirkbride Street scene, he thought that the Osbornes were the victims.

He heard the two men say to another arriving officer, " 'They're getting away,' " referring to Michael Weismantle and the others, who fled the scene. They took the injured man to the Zone 1 police station, where an officer began chest compressions, but he died a short time later.

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Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620.


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