Trial for suspect in Penn Hills police shooting delayed

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The death penalty trial for a man accused of killing a Penn Hills police officer nearly three years ago has been delayed to Jan. 28.

The district attorney's office filed a motion for a continuance, telling Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Kevin G. Sasinoski that a key witness in the case against Ronald Robinson cannot be located.

Deputy District Attorney Mark V. Tranquilli wrote in the request that he cannot proceed with the case without the witness. Mr. Tranquilli would not identify the missing witness but said extensive efforts had been used to locate the person.

Officer Michael Crawshaw was killed Dec. 6, 2009, responding to a 911 call for a man with a gun at a home in the 200 block of Johnston Road.

Danyal Morton, 40, who police say owed money to Mr. Robinson, was killed inside the home. Officer Crawshaw, who was sitting in his police car outside the home, was killed by a shot from a rifle.

The case involving both victims was set to begin with jury selection today. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. breaking - neigh_east

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


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