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Homestead man remains hospitalized, trial postponed

| Thursday, May 2, 2013, 3:26 a.m.

A Homestead man's preliminary hearing on robbery and assault charges has been postponed again because he remains hospitalized.

Court officials said Rahim Jamel Gene Thomas, 18, was admitted last month to Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.

Thomas was scheduled to face Magisterial District Judge Thomas R. Torkowsky in Munhall on Wednesday for a hearing on charges stemming from an April 12 incident.

The hearing was postponed until June 19 at the defense's request. Glassport Magisterial District Judge Armand A. Martin was filling in for Torkowsky on Wednesday afternoon.

Private attorney Veronica Brestinsky represented Thomas. She declined to comment on Thomas' status, citing federal privacy laws.

Thomas and three juveniles, males ages 16 and 17 from Homestead and age 16 from Munhall, are charged with robbery, aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit robbery and inflict serious injury. Their hearings are being done through Juvenile Court.

According to a Munhall police criminal complaint, Thomas and the three juveniles assaulted a man, emptied his pockets, then stole two sandwiches the victim had just bought from a nearby Subway restaurant.

The criminal complaint said a borough police officer on patrol saw the victim lying on the sidewalk along Main Street.

The victim said four males, three dressed in black, one in white, all wearing hooded sweatshirts, accosted him then took off toward Farragut Street.

Two were arrested as they were coming out of a yard along Ventura Street, while the other two were found coming out of a nearby cemetery.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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