Kuzak jury hears one defendant's taped confession
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In a 10-minute recording played by the prosecution today, Marcus Andrejco confessed to participating in a home invasion in Clairton that ended when a responding police officer was shot and paralyzed.
Recorded at 4:30 a.m. on April 9, 2011 -- more than eight hours after the then 18-year-old was taken into custody -- Mr. Andrejco said in the recording that he was sorry for what happened to Clairton police Officer James Kuzak.
"I send my condolences to the fallen officer," Mr. Andrejco said. "I was wrong. I deserve to be punished, I know. Lesson learned."
But parts of the confession stemming from the April 4, 2011, robbery and shooting on Miller Avenue don't match up with earlier testimony in the case.
Prosecution witnesses have said that Mr. Andrejco was dating a girl who lived in the same duplex as the house that was robbed. The man living in the house that was robbed was a drug dealer, and there has been testimony that Mr. Andrejco would watch him from outside his girlfriend's house. The robbers demanded cash and drugs from the victims.
In his statement, however, Mr. Andrejco said that it was the other man with him who chose the location of the robbery.
"We were riding around Swissvale, Braddock for a little bit, and he says he has this lick [robbery] he wants to set up," Mr. Andrejco said in the recording. "So I ask where, and he says over Clairton, you know, ex-girlfriend's old neighbor."
Mr. Andrejco's defense attorney, Ralph Karsh, has said that his client was forced to confess and that he did not participate in the robbery.
He was to begin cross-examination of Allegheny County police homicide Detective Steven Hitchings this afternoon.
Along with Mr. Andrejco, also charged in the case is Emilio Rivera, 27, of McKees Rocks.
The trial, before Common Pleas Judge Edward J. Borkowski, began July 24.
First Published August 1, 2012 2:17 pm