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Westmoreland prosecutors rest case against Monroeville man shot by police after chase

Rich Cholodofsky
| Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, 5:30 p.m.
Joshua Jesse
Courtesy of Westmoreland County Prison
Joshua Jesse

Parks Township Sgt. John Arce told a Westmoreland County jury Wednesday that he had no choice but to fire his service revolver at the end of a 20-mile car chase that ended in a Bell Township field.

“The actor had a gun and fired one shot. I felt all three of us were in danger,” Arce testified during the second day in the attempted murder trial of Joshua B. Jesse, 44, of Monroeville.

Police said Jesse led them on a nearly one-hour chase that ended with him being shot 10 times by police.

After more than a dozen witnesses testified over two days, the prosecution rested its case. It contends that Jesse was suspected to be in need of an involuntary mental health commitment when he fled from police at a Murrysville gas station Sept. 17, 2014.

The chase ended as Jesse walked from his pickup after he drove down a dead-end road in Bell Township. Retired state police Trooper Owen Leonard said four police officers fired 26 rounds at Jesse after he raised a gun and fired a shot in response to an officer attempting to subdue him with a Taser.

Leonard testified police found a revolver on the ground near where Jesse was shot and four rifles and a shotgun in his truck.

The defense is expected to present its case when the trial reconvenes Friday after a one-day break.

Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rita Hathaway told jurors they likely would begin deliberations on Friday.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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