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Lawyers say East Carnegie man made threats while upset

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By Margaret Harding
Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

A man threatening in messages to twist his probation officer's head off was “extremely upset” over the death of his mother, his attorneys said Friday.

Deputies with the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office charged Theodore Hatcher, 35, of Pittsburgh's East Carnegie neighborhood with retaliation, terroristic threats and stalking. Hatcher is accused of leaving threatening voice messages with Allegheny County Probation Officer Erich Jeffries after Hatcher's mother, Luwanna Dean, died.

“This young man just didn't know how to deal with it properly,” said co-defense attorney Phil DiLucente. “He is very remorseful.”

Hatcher was on probation for a simple assault conviction when Pittsburgh police filed new assault charges against him on Aug. 13. A bench warrant was issued for Hatcher because the charge violated his probation.

On Oct. 1, sheriff's Lt. Jack Kearney said deputies looking for Hatcher arrived at his home on Idlewood Avenue, where Dean and another man lied to deputies and fought with them.

Deputies arrested Dean on charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and hindering apprehension. She was released from Allegheny County Jail on Oct. 11, according to court records.

Dean died at her home Oct. 14. The cause of her death is pending toxicology results, an employee with the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Hatcher began calling Jeffries and leaving messages on Oct. 19, according to a criminal complaint filed against him.

“Whatever he said, he did because he is extremely upset,” said co-defense counsel James Ecker.

According to the criminal complaint, Hatcher said in an Oct. 20 recorded message to Jeffries: “Cause you killed my mom (expletive), so me and you we gonna have something,” and “I'm gonna twist your (expletive) head off.”

Hatcher also said he would wait for Jeffries when he showed up to inspect a relative's house.

“The threats are pretty graphic,” Kearney said. “We take threats like that seriously. You can't have people threatening officers of the court.”

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com.

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