The defense attorney for a man charged in the shooting death of a Slippery Rock student believes that his client's case should be heard in juvenile court.
Brandon Lind, 18, is accused in the death of Jordan Coyner, 20, of Kennedy. According to Allegheny County investigators, four young men went to Coyner's home, where they said he sold marijuana, to rob him June 18, 2012.
During the robbery, Coyner was shot in the head.
Police said Mr. Lind drove the car to the robbery and drove away. He never got out at Coyner's house.
Defense attorney Patrick Thomassey argued Wednesday to Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning that, because of his client's minimal involvement in the crime and his amenability to treatment, they make him a suitable candidate for juvenile court.
Assistant district attorney Summer Carroll said, however, that in the juvenile system, Mr. Lind would only be able to be held until he was 21 and that two years of treatment is not adequate.
"But for Brandon Lind being involved in this case, it never would have happened," she said. "No one else knew the victim. He's the one who pointed the victim out as an easy [robbery.]"
Mr. Lind drove the car, solicited others to participate in the robbery and got the gun, she said.
Earlier in the hearing, two separate experts testified about Mr. Lind's mental health background and diagnoses.
Alice Applegate, a forensic psychologist, told Judge Manning that Mr. Lind had an extensive mental health history, and that at age 17, he was left to be the caretaker for his dying father, while still going to high school.
"The moment that Brandon's father died, Brandon split apart," she said.
The young man has bipolar disorder and that at the time of the crime, he was in a state of mania, she testified.
Psychiatrist Bruce Wright testified for the prosecution and said he disagreed with the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. He did say, though, that Mr. Lind has oppositional defiant disorder and a history of substance abuse.
He told Judge Manning he did not believe the defendant was amenable to treatment.
The judge expects to issue his decision in the matter next week. The trial, if it remains in criminal court, is scheduled for Dec. 2.
First Published October 2, 2013 1:45 PM