An Allegheny County Common Pleas judge delivered a mixed verdict Monday to a father and son accused of killing a man during a brawl on the North Side in 2011.
Judge Jeffrey A. Manning found Bryan Keith Osborne, 45, guilty of involuntary manslaughter, and Alex Osborne, 21, guilty of simple assault for their actions Sept. 7, 2011, which led to the death of Michael Weismantle, 26.
The judge said it was clear that Weismantle and his friends who arrived at the Osborne house that night were the "initial aggressors."
"The behavior of all involved was disgraceful and despicable, but the court finds the defendants took this behavior to a higher level."
Bryan Osborne was also found guilty of simple assault while using a deadly weapon. Both men were found not guilty of conspiracy.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 8.
Defense attorneys for the two men argued that their clients were simply defending themselves and their families when Weismantle and five other people arrived at the Osborne home just before 2 a.m. that day.
But the prosecution said the men were not in danger when they stabbed Weismantle to death in front of their California-Kirkbride house.
Judge Manning agreed.
"The Castle Doctrine, and the concept of stand your ground, have no place in the law applicable to this case."
The judge said the defendants acted with "reckless abandon."
Last week, Allegheny County associate medical examiner Todd Luckasevic testified that Weismantle was stabbed three times -- with the fatal blow going through his left chest.
Randall McKinney, who represented Alex Osborne, said his client, who was wearing flip-flops, did not intend to engage in a fight early that morning. Instead, Weismantle showed up with two cars full of people, and a fight ensued between the two men's younger sisters.
Alex Osborne exited his home as the girls were fighting and had no weapon initially, the lawyer said. It was only after he saw Weismantle armed with a 40-ounce beer bottle that he armed himself with the cleaver, Mr. McKinney said.
Testimony at trial showed that Weismantle threw the bottle in Alex Osborne's direction, that it didn't hit him and instead landed in a vacant lot behind him.
Patrick Thomassey, who represented Bryan Osborne, said the man was defending his home and family.
"Bryan told everyone to leave and went in and called the police," Mr. Thomassey said. "What's he supposed to do? Is he supposed to cower behind the door and say, 'Geez, I hope nothing happens to my family?'
"These two guys reacted to protect themselves and protect their families."
Assistant District Attorney Ilan Zur disagreed. "For sure, there's blame to go on the side of the victim," Mr. Zur admitted. But he continued, "To say [the Osbornes] are free of any blame in this is absurd.
"As much blame as there is to pass around, there's more blame on their side."
Paula Reed Ward: email@example.com or 412-263-2620.