An East Hills man was held for court today on charges that he killed a mother of six and injured another man in a shooting near a Beltzhoover bar in February.
James Lawrence, 21, faces charges of homicide, conspiracy and other crimes in the Feb. 28 shooting that killed Tiona Jackson, 28, and injured Nigel Pryor, 32, of Penn Hills.
Magisterial District Judge Derwin Rushing ordered Lawrence to stand trial after hearing testimony this afternoon from the man who said he drove Mr. Lawrence and others to the bar that night.
Also charged in the case is Dorian Peebles, 22, of Homewood, against whom prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.
Jerrick Lane-Bryant testified that he, Lawrence, Peebles and another man were at a home in Sheraden when Lawrence received a call from someone and Mr. Lane-Bryant agreed to drive the men to Red's Bar on East Warrington Avenue in Lawrence's gold Pontiac Bonneville.
Mr. Lane-Bryant testified that he was drinking a Long Island iced tea inside the bar with his sister's ex-boyfriend when Lawrence told them they needed to leave the bar. He said he drove a short distance, parked the car and Lawrence and Peebles got out.
He testified that he heard gunshots, saw muzzle flashes and saw Lawrence and Peebles get back into the car, but he said he could not see the target of the gunfire. He said Lawrence told him "whatever you known, whatever you seen, erase that."
Lawrence is also awaiting trial on charges that he killed a man in a shooting in Sheraden earlier this year, and Pittsburgh police have said he is a suspect -- although he has not been charged -- in a third killing.
First Published October 9, 2013 5:19 PM