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Judge denies request to move trial of man accused of killing Penn Hills cop

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Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 5:52 p.m.

An Allegheny County judge on Thursday denied a request to change the venue of the trial of a Homewood man accused of killing a Penn Hills police officer and another man three years ago.

Pat Thomassey, an attorney representing Ronald Robinson, 35, said in the motion filed Friday that Robinson couldn't get a fair trial in Allegheny County because Mike Manko, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, tainted the jury pool when he told reporters that his office had rejected a plea deal that would have sent Robinson to prison for two life terms without the possibility of parole.

Robinson is charged with the Dec. 6, 2009, fatal shootings of Officer Michael Crawshaw, 32, and Danyal Morton, 40, of Penn Hills. Police said Robinson killed Morton in a Penn Hills home over a $500 drug debt, left the house and fired at Crawshaw, striking the officer several times while he still was in his patrol car.

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