Hearing delayed in fatal shooting near adult club
A Munhall man charged with homicide and a firearms violation in connection with a shooting outside an adult entertainment establishment in the borough will wait a little longer for his day in court.
Paul Barone, 23, was scheduled to go before Magisterial District Judge Leonard Hromyak for a preliminary hearing Friday morning at Pittsburgh Municipal Court.
Assistant district attorney Chris Avetta was granted a postponement until May 17 at 10 a.m.
Barone's charges stem from the March 3 murder of John Sumpter IV, 32, of Pittsburgh, in his vehicle parked along Este Way outside Club Pink.
Barone's attorney, Kevin Abramovitz, maintained his client's innocence following the postponement, noting he has not seen “a witness get up on the stand and testify in a credible manner” and withstand cross- examination.
“We haven't even had the preliminary hearing yet,” he stressed.
Barone's family and friends present in court on Friday declined comment. Avetta also had no comment on the case.
This marks the fourth postponement of the hearing. Previously it was rescheduled on March 8, March 15 and March 22.
The last rescheduling was at the defense's request following an issue with a witness.
That person attempted to invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to testify, prompting attorneys from all sides to go to Allegheny County Common Pleas Court to determine if the witness could make that claim.
Common Pleas Judge Beth Lazzara ruled the witness didn't have to testify about certain aspects of the night of the shooting.
“The issue was resolved,” the witness' attorney Chris Urbano said Friday morning.
Barone remains in Allegheny County Jail.
A Munhall police officer was patrolling the area of Club Pink at 936 E. Eighth Ave. on March 3 at around 4 a.m. when he heard several gunshots, according to the criminal complaint. The officer reportedly observed a dark-colored vehicle back down Munn Street, strike a fence at the intersection with Este Way, and drive forward on Este Way at a high rate of speed. The officer determined the vehicle was an Audi, obtained its license plate number and alerted other police units.
The Audi stopped when it reached the 1400 block of Ravine Street and a man later identified as Barone reportedly ran out of the right rear door into a wooded area. Court documents indicate that Barone was found on a hillside crouched down on a ledge and was taken into custody. Two other people in the Audi also were taken into custody, then released. Police found a .40-caliber Glock 22 pistol after searching the path where Barone ran, according to the criminal complaint.
Sumpter was found in his vehicle with a gunshot to the head and was pronounced dead at 4:04 a.m. His vehicle was struck with gunfire several times and the engine was running. An Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Mobile Crime Unit scientist found that a fragment of a spent projectile next to Sumpter's vehicle “was consistent from being fired from a Glock.”
Since the shooting, Munhall council revoked the occupancy permit of Club Pink, citing violations of the borough's adult entertainment ordinance. The business closed on March 21, but was permitted to reopen via an April ruling by Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Joseph James.
Munhall police Chief Pat Campbell said there have no reports of criminal activity at the club since it reopened.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965 ,or email@example.com.
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.
- Elizabeth prepares for first-ever farmers market
- Elizabeth Bridge to receive $17.1M rehabilitation
- Bridge rehab is largest Mon-Yough project
- Summer workers help fight Mon Valley neighborhood blight
- Elizabeth Township fire displaces family
- Pleasant Hills Night Out attracts large crowd
- Whitaker man to serve 2 life sentences for West Mifflin murders
- McKeesport convenience store sells winning ticket
- Munhall officials seek green space, parks
- Antiques appraiser shares expertise with Mon Valley crowd
- West Mifflin woman held for court, accused of leaving baby unattended