Two men who were acquitted in April in the stabbing of Steelers offensive lineman Mike Adams were sentenced Wednesday on charges they fled from police investigating the case.
Dquay Means, 28, of Hazelwood, was found guilty of escape after running from city detectives when they attempted to question him about the incident. He was held at the county jail from June 2013 through April and then spent an additional three months on home electronic monitoring after the verdict.
Common Pleas Judge Anthony M. Mariani ordered Means to serve 11 1⁄2 to 23 months and said he is to be released immediately.
“You have demonstrated an awareness of the wrongfulness of your conduct,” the judge said. “If you go back to criminal conduct, you’re going to state prison.
“You control your freedom.”
Jerrell Whitlock, 27, also of Hazelwood, was ordered by Judge Mariani to serve 18 to 36 months incarceration, also to be followed by three years probation.
The judge gave Whitlock the tougher sentence, he said, because he used an alias to flee to Florida, and had to be arrested by a fugitive squad, which Tased him when he tried to run.
“I find his conduct to be in the aggravated range,” Judge Mariani said.
Mr. Adams was stabbed about 3 a.m. June 1, 2013, at 17th and East Carson streets on the South Side. Police charged Means, Whitlock and another man, Michael Paranay, alleging they were trying to steal Mr. Adams’ truck.
But the defendants argued at trial that Mr. Adams was drunk and started a fight by knocking food from Mr. Paranay’s hands.
The jury found all three men not guilty of attempted homicide and aggravated assault.
Mr. Adams who testified on the second day of the trial never returned to the courtroom and was not present for sentencing.
Defense attorney Fred Rabner asked Judge Mariani to immediately release Means.
“His behavior before being incarcerated for 11 months, he was really more of a child,” Mr. Rabner said. ”He knows [it was] by his own doing, his picking of friends.“
But since Means’ arrest, the attorney continued, his client has attempted to get back on track.
After his release to electronic monitoring, Means has been working with a construction company and pursuing his dream of becoming a rap artist. He works for a label under Wiz Khalifa and was performing at shows before his arrest.
“This kid lights up the room,” Mr. Rabner said.
For his part, Means apologized to the court.
“I understand you gave me a chance, and I took that to the best of my ability. I’m ready to get back to my life and take care of my family.”
In Whitlock’s case, defense attorney William Difenderfer argued to Judge Mariani that his client fled from Pittsburgh because he was fearful of a wrongful prosecution involving a high-profile victim.
“He certainly didn’t want to be apprehended and charged for something he didn’t do,” Mr. Difenderfer said. “And that’s ultimately how it played out.”
Paula Reed Ward: email@example.com or 412-263-2620.