2009 North Versailles homicide case to be tried this week
Share with others:
A homicide case that has been working its way through the system for more than three years -- and was once thrown out and later reinstated -- should finally go to trial this week in the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
Kevin Doolin, 46, of Sheraden is charged in the shooting death of Albert Kolano, on March 12, 2009, at the Longview Lounge in North Versailles.
Mr. Kolano was killed, police said, after he had a confrontation with several members of the Pagans motorcycle club that night at the bar. He was shot in the chest while in his minivan as he attempted to leave the parking lot.
Mr. Doolin was charged with criminal homicide, and another man, Bryan Perun, was charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment for allegedly firing at Mr. Kolano's brother, Anthony.
Mr. Perun was found not guilty of the charges against him at trial in October.
The case against Mr. Doolin has been hampered by a confidential informant who had been working with the state attorney general's office on a separate drug trafficking case involving the Pagans.
That informant told the AG's prosecutors that Mr. Doolin was not responsible for Mr. Kolano's death, but that the only way he would testify was if he got immunity from the Allegheny County district attorney's office.
Prosecutors there refused, saying he was not credible.
The judge on the case at the time, Senior Judge John K. Reilly Jr., threw out the charges against Mr. Doolin in June 2010, saying that the circumstances of the case were "so fundamentally unjust" that dismissal was necessary.
However, less than a month later, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reinstated the charges.
Mr. Doolin was released in September 2010 on $400,000 straight bond with electronic monitoring, but had that bond revoked in May after prosecutors learned he had gone to a Steelers game instead of returning home from his work release.
Just last month, Mr. Doolin's defense attorney asked Common Pleas Judge Anthony M. Mariani to issue a material witness warrant for the confidential informant, believing that the man could help clear his client.
In the motion, attorney Lee Rothman wrote that the informant is "a material and crucial exculpatory witness."
Mr. Rothman hired a private investigator to try to track the informant down. However, after eight hours worth of work and driving more than 300 miles, the investigator was unable to find him at addresses in Johnstown, Altoona and Huntingdon.
The defense requested the material witness warrant, which would allow the informant to be arrested so as to ensure his appearance at trial.
On June 22, Judge Mariani granted the request. It is unclear if the informant has been located.
First Published July 9, 2012 12:00 am