Judge: Woman charged in McKees Rocks killing can remain on house arrest

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An 18-year-old woman charged with killing a man in McKees Rocks in 2012 will remain on house arrest even though she missed two appointments for a psychological evaluation.

Destiny Brown, of Coraopolis, was charged in the May 24 shooting death of Marshawn Ptomey, 19.

Ms. Brown and a 16-year-old friend were walking along Russellwood Avenue when they encountered Ptomey.

Ms. Brown had a gun in her purse, pulled it out and shot Ptomey while he was fighting with her friend and after he threw her to the ground, police said she told them. Ms. Brown ran and threw the gun in a river.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Schulte filed a motion asking that Ms. Brown's bond be revoked after she failed to attend two meetings last month with a psychiatrist for evaluation.

But defense attorney Milton Raiford argued that it was his fault his client missed the most recent meeting.

He said Ms. Brown's mother should have been notified because she provides transportation for her daughter, and she was not.

"She's done everything she's supposed to do," Mr. Raiford said. "She's not trying to avoid talking to Dr. [Bruce] Wright."

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning reluctantly agreed to allow Ms. Brown to remain on house arrest.

"I gave your client a gift -- a gift that's rarely given," he told Mr. Raiford.

The prosecution is arguing that Ms. Brown is guilty of murder, and that she had the specific intent to kill Ptomey.

Mr. Raiford has asked that the case be moved to juvenile court because Ms. Brown was 17 at the time. He also plans to argue self defense.

Judge Manning set a decertification hearing for May 7.

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


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