3 men accused of stabbing Steeler acquitted of most serious charges
An Allegheny County jury on Wednesday declined to find anyone responsible for a stabbing that hospitalized a Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman for four days.
The three defendants' lawyers told reporters outside the courtroom they believe the jurors found problems with Mike Adams' changing version of what happened to him outside the Cambod-Ican Kitchen early June 1 in the South Side.
“The bottom line is these gentlemen are innocent. The jury did what they're supposed to do,” said Dquay Means' lawyer, Fred Rabner.
The jury deliberated for about five hours before acquitting Means, 26, Michael Paranay, 26, and Jerrell Whitlock, 27, all of Hazelwood, of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, attempted robbery and conspiracy. Means and Whitlock were convicted of fleeing.
Adams could not be reached, and Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten declined to comment. The jury of eight men and four women also declined, as did Assistant District Attorney Christopher Stone.
Paranay was expected to be released from the county jail on Wednesday night. Lawyers for Means and Whitlock said they plan to file a motion on Thursday for their clients' release. All three defendants have been in custody since their arrests in June.
Adams initially told police he was stabbed during a fight. Then Adams said one of his attackers pointed a gun at his face in an attempt to carjack him. Adams later said his attackers showed him a gun but didn't pull it out.
The defense claimed Adams lied to investigators because he was on “thin ice” with the team because he tested positive for marijuana before the 2012 NFL draft. Additionally, the defense said Adams couldn't have provided an accurate account of what happened because his blood-alcohol content was 0.185 percent, more than twice the legal limit to drive.
A defense expert testified that the 6-foot-7, 325-pound Adams would have had to consume 28 drinks in eight hours to be that drunk.
Paranay's mother said his story never changed. Debbie Paranay said her son told her about the incident before he talked with detectives.
“He said he punched him,” Paranay said. “That's all he did. He punched him.”
Paranay told detectives a few days later that the “humongous” Adams bumped into him — causing him to drop his chicken shish kabobs and his cellphone — so he punched Adams in the face and ran. He maintained he didn't know who stabbed Adams.
“I'm ecstatic,” his mother said. “Justice was served, and my boy is coming home.”
Randall McKinney, Paranay's lawyer, said jurors seemed to believe Paranay's version.
“I think the jury saw that (Paranay's) story never wavered. His story was much more believable,” McKinney said.
Stone called several people during the trial who said they witnessed the altercation. None of them saw Means, Whitlock or Paranay with a gun or a knife. What the prosecution's witnesses heard on the street varied drastically from what defense witnesses heard.
None of the lawyers had anything negative to say on Wednesday about Adams, who did not appear in court after testifying last week. The trial began on April 22.
“Hopefully, he does well for the Steelers, and hopefully, our guys do well for society,” Bill Difenderfer, Whitlock's lawyer, said.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 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.
- Rossi: Wild Wednesday proves Steelers rule
- Starkey: Rutherford hits jackpot with Kessel
- 2B Walker, Pirates smash through Tigers pitching in road victory
- Penguins notebook: Rutherford proves savvy in deal
- Instances of hacking may be up, but indictments against Chinese military impactful, experts say
- Group takes veterans, seniors in WWII-era planes at Unity airport
- Government contests sale of GE appliance business to competitor Electrolux
- Penguins get their man in making trade with Toronto for Kessel
- Higher school taxes prevail in Western Pennsylvania, Trib finds
- CIA station chief made mark in Indonesia
- Copper stolen from construction site at Greensburg museum