Prosecutors drop robbery charges against East Liberty man
By Bobby Kerlik
Published: Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, 6:03 p.m.
The mother of a man who spent a month in jail for a crime he did not commit said she was happy prosecutors dropped the charges against her son on Friday but that he should never have been charged.
“I'm just glad this thing is over,” said Yvonne Brown, 43, mother of DeAndre Brown.
Allegheny County prosecutors withdrew robbery charges against Brown, 26, of East Liberty, who works as a security guard at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was accused of robbing Dana's Bakery in Homewood about 2:45 p.m. Sept. 10. Authorities charged him with robbery and possessing a firearm.
Brown was jailed Sept. 16 and released Oct. 16 when questions surfaced about his possible innocence and his bail was lowered.
Mike Manko, spokesman for the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office, said the charges were withdrawn “upon further investigation.”
“I never should have been put in this predicament in the first place,” Brown said.
Pittsburgh police major crimes Lt. Dan Herrmann said Brown declined to speak with police after the robbery victim identified him as the suspect. He said the first time police heard the alibi story was minutes before the Sept. 24 preliminary hearing.
Yvonne Brown said police knew about the alibi right away because her son told them during interviews.
“When he was arrested and interviewed, my son told them he was at work, so the preliminary hearing is not the first time they heard about the alibi,” she said.
“They wanted me to say I was guilty. I told them I was at work,” DeAndre Brown said.
Brown's attorney, Patrick Nightingale, said the arrest was a case of mistaken identification.
“Seven weeks later, whoever committed this crime is running around in Homewood,” Nightingale said. “Our guy was innocent, and at least now justice has prevailed. I applaud the DA's office for looking into it.”
Nightingale said Brown could not have committed the crime because he was at a three-hour, job-related training seminar in Oakland at the time. Nightingale said he has a sign-in sheet from the training seminar, surveillance footage of Brown entering the building at 2:10 p.m. and co-workers who placed him at the seminar.
Nightingale said he was disappointed that police weren't interested in hearing about the alibi or the sign-in sheets when he had them at the preliminary hearing. The district attorney's office reviewed the surveillance video, and a police detective interviewed Brown's co-workers and supervisor.
Police arrested Brown, who has no criminal record, after Lloyd Bundy, 54, who works at the bakery on Homewood Avenue, identified him as the robber.
According to a criminal complaint, a man with a white T-shirt covering part of his face entered the bakery and demanded money. Bundy told police he caught a glimpse of the man's face when the shirt fell.
The next day, Bundy called 911 when he recognized a man at the shop as the one who robbed him and reported his license plate to police.
“They said I was a fugitive,” Brown said. “What fugitive in his right mind would go into the bakery after he robbed it?”
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 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.
- Keisel might be at end of Steelers career
- Penguins’ leads evaporate in loss to Sharks
- McKeesport middle school student struck by dump truck dies in hospital
- New Pirates pitcher Eppley brings special delivery to team’s staff
- Sharks praise ex-teammate, newest Penguins player Goc
- Martin would consider extending stay with Pirates
- Westmoreland man’s walk in Niagara Falls State Park wasn’t allowed, police say
- Suspect in East Liberty slayings may be part of murder-for-hire case
- Judge to Cook Township drug suspect: Get new friends
- Qualifications of Peduto nominee for building inspection chief come up short
- Penguins notebook: Kennedy struggling to find net in San Jose