Jury convicts Pittsburgh man for Homestead slaying
A Pittsburgh man will spend the rest of his life in prison for fatally shooting another man in October.
An Allegheny County jury found Wilbert Keith Johnson, 37, of the city's Allentown neighborhood guilty on Wednesday of first-degree murder for killing Qaeed Braxton, 36, of Duquesne near the intersection of Amity Street and Eight Avenue in Homestead.
Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel will sentence Johnson within 90 days. The mandatory penalty for first-degree murder is life in prison.
Prosecutors said Johnson shot Braxton after they and another man argued about a woman.
Assistant District Attorney William Petulla said Braxton and his friends left the Ragtime Bar about 12:37 a.m. Oct. 18, and Johnson left less than a minute later. Johnson retrieved a gun from his car and caught up with them down the street, Petulla said, where Johnson fired a single shot that hit Braxton in the back.
Johnson initially denied being at the bar, then said he was there but left. He finally told police that he fired one shot in self-defense when two men jumped him.
His lawyer, Annie Marie Mancuso, said in her closing argument that prosecutors wanted the jury to convict Johnson because “he wasn't initially truthful.”
“We are not denying that a shooting occurred,” but Johnson did not do it, Mancuso said.
Petulla said security video from within the bar, witnesses and other evidence indicated otherwise.
“Self-defense is a sham defense,” he said.
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.
- Pirates notebook: Morton’s return to Pirates means Liz leaves
- With space to spare, Pittsburgh International draws corporate jet carrier
- Another broken promise: ObamaCare in the ER
- Woman, dog rescued at Harrison Hills
- Pirates pitcher Morton turns in solid performance in win over Marlins
- ‘Voice of Pittsburgh’ was proud of Mon Valley roots
- Cops: Man shoots 11-year-old with BB gun in McKeesport; boy critical
- Consistency keeps Cellone’s Bakery customers coming back
- Foes of South Huntingdon gas-fired plant fight approval
- Steel Valley softball gets 3rd try at Seton-La Salle
- EPA to release biofuels proposal by June 1