Trial in shooting death of Penn Hills police officer delayed again

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Jury selection for the death penalty case of a man accused of killing Penn Hills police Officer Michael Crawshaw is on hold because the defendant has been hospitalized.

Ronald Robinson, 35, is at UPMC Mercy, with an undisclosed illness.

Jury selection was slated to begin today in the double-homicide case that also includes the shooting death of Danyal Morton, who was killed inside a home on Johnston Road on Dec. 6, 2009.

Officer Crawshaw, who responded to a 911 call at that location, was shot to death inside his patrol car.

Investigators have said Mr. Morton was killed over a drug debt.

The case before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Kevin G. Sasinoski has been delayed a number of times, including last month when a key prosecution witness could not be located.

According to Patrick Thomassey, who is representing Robinson if he is convicted and faces the death penalty, when jail employees went to wake the defendant at 4:30 a.m. today to get him ready to transport to court, they found him unresponsive.

"The last we know, they had him on life support," Mr. Thomassey said.

There were no signs of trauma, he said.

Deputy District Attorney Mark V. Tranquilli could not comment on what caused Robinson's hospitalization. mobilehome - breaking - neigh_east

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


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