Man found guilty on all counts in South Side stabbing



Colin Albright stood before a group of reporters -- his winter coat hiding the scar that encircles much of his neck, but his short cropped hair not hiding at all a long, curving scar down the back of his head.

A jury of seven women and five men had just returned a guilty verdict Wednesday in the case against Anthony Scholl Jr., who tried to kill the 26-year-old Mr. Albright in 2012 on a set of city steps on the South Side.

Mr. Albright's reaction was one of reflection.

Victim talks about guilty verdict in stabbing case

Colin Albright, survivor of an attempted homicide in 2012, talks about the guilty verdict levied against Anthony Scholl Jr., 23. (Video by Paula Reed Ward; 3/5/2014)

"This is not a happy day. My reaction is somber," he said. "There's nothing relieving, or refreshing and joyous, about seeing a family's son get taken away or a young man's life be effectually put on hold for an indefinite period of time measured in years."

But, Mr. Albright continued, it was the verdict he wanted.

"Knowing he's the one that attacked me, having had him attack me, that doesn't make it any easier to watch that devastation for his family," he said. "People treat this like [it's] my day, for me. This isn't my day. This day isn't about me. This day is really his day. It's about him."

Mr. Scholl, who was convicted of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, will be sentenced May 12 by Common Pleas Judge Edward J. Borkowski. He faces a standard guideline sentence of six years to as many as 40 years in prison.

Mr. Albright was riding his bicycle across the Hot Metal Bridge the night of Sept. 5, 2012, when he apparently cut off Mr. Scholl, who was in a car.

Mr. Scholl became enraged, followed Mr. Albright, parked his car and then raced up the steps near Josephine Street behind Mr. Albright, who was carrying his bike on his shoulder.

Using a black folding knife, Mr. Scholl stabbed and slashed Mr. Albright multiple times.

His head wounds required more than a dozen staples, and the slash to his throat, 21 stitches.

"There was such a level of rage I could feel present in the way he attacked me -- the intensity in his face," Mr. Albright said. "I saw confusion. I saw rage. I saw anger. I saw hatred.

"But I also saw confusion, sadness."

Mr. Scholl, who had been hospitalized for mental health issues just days before, told police he was hearing voices at the time he attacked Mr. Albright.

He confessed to the crime, but defense attorney Ryan Tutera argued to the jury during his closing Wednesday morning that his client was susceptible to influence, and that his statement was not voluntary.

Without that seven-minute, recorded confession, Mr. Tutera continued, the commonwealth had no case.

There was no fingerprint or DNA evidence, and no witnesses, the defense continued.

More than that, Mr. Tutera said, Mr. Albright was only able to say Mr. Scholl looked "very similar" to the person who attacked him.

Police never searched Mr. Scholl's home or tested whether blood found in his vehicle matched that of the victim, the defense continued.

"You don't have the weapon. You don't have any clothing," Mr. Tutera said. "You need that type of scientific evidence in a case such as this."

But assistant district attorney Kevin Chernosky said that what the defense was making was a "CSI argument ... because he thinks you watch too much TV."

The confession was made voluntarily, the prosecutor told the jury, and Mr. Scholl's mother even accompanied him during his interview.

"Ask yourself if he sounds like someone being forced, or having trouble communicating," Mr. Chernosky said.

About five minutes into his interview, Mr. Scholl apologized for his actions, and wished Mr. Albright a long, happy life.

But Mr. Chernosky told the jury not to get wrapped up in that.

"All the sorries in the world don't take away the memory of being stabbed. They don't take away the loss of muscle control," he said. "They don't take the scars off his body.

"We don't deal in sorries here. We deal in guilt or innocence."

But for Mr. Albright, he, in some way, appreciated Mr. Scholl's words.

"If he humanizes me, good," he said. "I've humanized him. I return the favor."

 


Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620. First Published March 5, 2014 10:44 AM

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