Ex-Steeler Stuvaints pleads guilty to scrap with police
By Eric Slagle
Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 5:21 a.m.
When a former Pittsburgh Steeler pleaded guilty on Tuesday to fighting with McKeesport police last summer, he did so in handcuffs.
Russell Stuvaints, 32, of White Oak entered Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Joseph K. Williams III's courtroom on his own volition, but was placed in handcuffs by sheriff's deputies because he was nearly an hour late for his 9 a.m. trial.
“This is not the first time he was late,” a court officer scolded defense attorney Laurie A. McKinnon when Stuvaints had been led out of the courtroom by the deputies.
Stuvaints, who arrived wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans and work boots, was still cuffed more than two hours later when he finally went before the judge and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and resisting arrest. He was sentenced to two years of probation.
Stuvaints was arrested on July 17 when he allegedly threatened a woman on Eden Park Boulevard, then fought with two police officers who ordered him to leave the area. Police had to use a Taser on Stuvaints to subdue him.
In return for the guilty plea, the state withdrew three additional charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
“I didn't think this would happen to me. I guess it's the best thing I could do,” Stuvaints said to the judge. When the judge asked him if he was pleading guilty because he is, Stuvaints said, “I'm pleading guilty because I don't want to go to jail.”
Asked a second time by the judge if he was guilty, Stuvaints responded affirmatively.
McKinnon told the judge Stuvaints is employed in construction and is a productive part of the community.
“My client is very remorseful for his actions. They are completely out of his character,” she told the court.
Stuvaints' trial, originally scheduled for Feb. 27, had been continued on two previous occasions. Prior to Stuvaints' arrival in court, McKinnon had indicated that another continuance was likely.
As deputies led him from the courtroom to be released, Stuvaints said it was he who had originally summoned police to the scene where he was arrested.
Stuvaints played for the Steelers from 2003-2005 and was a member of the Super Bowl XL championship team.
Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- White Oak man jailed for exposure, intimidation issues
- Mon Valley to benefit from conservation grants
- Clairton students receive care packages
- Afterschool Buddy shares message in Duquesne
- Mon Yough Chamber’s ‘Lunch and Learn’ uncovers Carnegie ‘gem’
- McKeesport council approves budget with no tax hike
- Salvation Army donations lag in Western Pennsylvania
- Port Vue council set to join host fee legal fight
- McKeesport club has railroad display on track for holiday
- McKeesport-area school boards reorganize
- Kid-friendly ‘Nutcracker’ returns to Grand Theatre