Date Set For Rosfeld Trial As Attorney May Seek Recusal of Judge

Rosfeld's defense attorney says TV appearance indicates trial judge is not impartial

Shelby Cassesse
September 11, 2018 - 3:53 pm

Allegheny County Police

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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld's attorney Patrick Thomassy may seek a jury outside of Allegheny County and the recusal of Judge Anthony Mariani.

In a pre-trial hearing Tuesday, Thomassy motioned for Mariani to recuse himself from the criminal homicide case surrounding the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. after Mariani appeared on PCNC's "Night Talk" before he was assigned the case. Thomassy said Mariani's comments showed signs of impartiality. 

Mariani denied the motion, but allowed Thomassy to file the motion again with evidentiary support in time for another hearing on September 21. 

Outside of the courtroom, Thomassy indicated he didn't know if he would file again or not. 

"We might revisit it, we may not. I mean, he denied it and that's where we are, and I'll make a decision whether or not we're going to go forward with that any further. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to protect the record for your client. It's that simple."

Thomassy also plans to file for permission to select a jury outside of Allegheny County, citing the substantial public interest in the case.

"There's been so much consternation in this city. I mean, we've had tie-ups of traffic, there have been people attacked, people pulled out of cars. It's gotten a lot of attention. They've picketed a judge's home. People in this county, I think, would be afraid to sit on a jury in this case, and that's why I'm going to file a motion to try to convince the judge to have the Supreme Court designate another county for us to pick the jury.

The trial is scheduled to start on February 26 with jury selection. 

Rosfeld was present at the pre-trial conference and said very little. He is currently on house arrest, but the judge granted him permission to leave his home for an hour to vote in the midterm elections. 

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