Pittsburgh police officer charged in Bloomfield bar killing waives hearing

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A Pittsburgh police officer accused of killing a man in a Bloomfield bar earlier this year waived his preliminary hearing this morning.

Kenneth Farnan, 51, of Lawrenceville is charged with homicide in the killing of Shawn Evans, 56, of Bloomfield, early Sept. 8 inside Condrin's Tavern on Torley Street.

Pittsburgh police wrote in a criminal complaint that the two drank together and then fought in the bar before the shooting.

Officer charged in Bloomfield bar killing waives hearing

Kenneth Farnan, the police officer accused of killing a man in a Bloomfield bar earlier this year, waived his preliminary hearing today. His attorney, William Difenderfer, contends it was a case of self-defense. (Video by Doug Oster; 9/27/2013)

They quoted a bartender saying Officer Farnan and Mr. Evans fell to the ground while fighting, about six shots went off, then Officer Farnan placed a gun on the bar and sat down while they waited for police to arrive.

"Obviously, the defense in this case is going to be self-defense," said William Difenderfer, the attorney representing Officer Farnan. "Clearly, there is evidence that my client and the victim were in an altercation."

Officer Farnan, dressed in a suit, did not comment as he entered and exited the Pittsburgh Municipal Courts Building. He said only a few words -- "Yes" and "Yes, sir" -- as he waived his hearing before District Judge Hugh McGough.

Mr. Difenderfer said he advised his client to waive the hearing because self-defense does not factor into issues a judge considers when deciding whether there is enough evidence to support a trial. Mr. Difenderfer also said investigators also allowed him to interview the bartender who would have testified at the hearing and he thought a waiver would be most sensitive to the Evans family.

Officer Farnan, a 19-year veteran of the force, has been on workers' compensation leave since July 2010, after he was injured in a car crash while working on duty. He submitted paperwork to retire Sept. 18, and the police pension board will vote on whether to accept his retirement next month.

Officer Farnan has been released on $50,000 bail and electronic home monitoring. His formal arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 29.

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Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1438. Twitter: @LizNavratil. First Published September 27, 2013 1:30 PM


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