Charges dropped against former fugitive
On the run for the last six years, Frank Wilson Rawson can quit looking over his shoulder.
Rawson, 55, of McKeesport had been wanted in New Kensington since 2007 on 13 charges, the most serious of which are drunken driving, resisting arrest and fleeing police, according to court documents.
Rawson never showed up to his June 2007 preliminary hearing and hadn't been seen since.
That is, according to New Kensington police, until he was pulled over by Penn Hills police earlier this month for a minor traffic infraction.
When police ran a record check on Rawson, they arrested him and sent him to Westmoreland County jail.
But that's the only jail time Rawson will have to do for his 2007 infractions, according to New Kensington police.
According to the Westmoreland County District Attorney's Office, the charges had to be dropped on Rawson because of a “due diligence rule.”
“Under the law, there has to be a continued effort to catch the suspect,” Assistant District Attorney James Lazar. “Because there wasn't a continued effort, we had no choice but to drop the charges.
“He fled to California and wasn't pursued.”
New Kensington Police Sgt. Dino DiGiacobbe said the department knew where Rawson was; they just couldn't get him to Pennsylvania.
“We knew he was in California,” said DiGiacobbe, the officer who arrested Rawson in 2007. “But his charges weren't severe enough to have him extradited back here.
Other than his pending traffic citation, Rawson is now a free man, DiGiacobbe said.
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Long-awaited bridge expected to be completed in June
- Volunteers devote day to furthering projects in A-K Valley
- FirstEnergy halfway into 72-day, $60 million upgrade of Springdale facility
- Filming for Cinemax TV series to divert traffic in Allegheny Township
- Leechburg man held for trial in fatal wreck
- Buffalo Township supervisors challenged in primary
- Mia Z voices no regrets after failing to advance on NBC show
- CMU astronomer lectures to Highlands students about space in pilot program
- State’s homeless rate begins to decrease
- Freeport High School students rise to the challenge
- Highlands expands budget, not taxes