Judge allows Ferrante to write to daughter
A University of Pittsburgh researcher charged with fatally poisoning his wife with cyanide can write a letter to his young daughter, an Allegheny County judge ruled on Wednesday.
Dr. Robert Ferrante, 65, is accused of poisoning his wife, Autumn Marie Klein, 41, a UPMC neurologist, on April 17, 2013. Paramedics found Klein collapsed in the couple's Schenley Farms home. She died in UPMC Presbyterian three days later.
Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman signed a consent order filed on behalf of Klein's parents, Lois and Charles Klein of Towson, Md., who have custody of Ferrante's daughter, Cianna, 7. Klein's parents agreed to the arrangement.
The order instructs Ferrante to give the letter to his lawyers, who will give it to Cianna's therapist, Dr. Claire A. Freeland. She will review the letter within 48 hours, determine whether it's appropriate and if so, give Cianna a copy during a counseling session.
Lawyers for both sides will then determine whether Ferrante can have further contact with his daughter.
The judge overseeing Ferrante's pending trial, meanwhile, polled potential jurors about their knowledge and opinions of the case.
President Judge Jeffrey A. Manning asked a room of potential jurors whether they read, heard or saw anything about the case and whether they had formed an opinion regarding Ferrante's guilt or innocence.
Of 67 people polled, 50 indicated they read or heard something about the case. Of those, 35 said they had formed an opinion on Ferrante's guilt or innocence.
Ferrante sat at a table in the jury room in the courthouse with his attorneys, William Difenderfer and Wendy Williams, and across from Assistant District Attorney Lisa Pellegrini.
A test in February yielded more ambiguous results. Of 78 people polled then, 36 indicated they read or heard something about the case, and 13 of those said they had formed an opinion on his guilt or innocence.
A third poll is planned for Monday.
The last time a jury from outside Allegheny County heard a case in Pittsburgh was June 2011, when jurors from Dauphin County sentenced Richard Poplawski to death for killing three Pittsburgh police officers in an ambush at his Stanton Heights home two years earlier.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or email@example.com.
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.
- Piecemaker kiosk kicks out keepsakes on the spot
- First Draft: Beer lovers at CoStar take the time to brew it right
- Greensburg Central Catholic softball hopes to bounce back in Class A
- Penguins notebook: Staal insists he never asked for trade to Penguins
- Blast collapses NYC apartments, injures 12
- New Ken man ‘holed up’ in house
- Hempfield softball motivated after missing playoffs
- Police arrest 4 in Pitcairn drug investigation
- Pirates notebook: Worley bounces back after rough start
- Bergdahl, speaking for 1st time, claims 12 attempts to flee Taliban
- Pitt adds quarterback recruit from Cincinnati