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North Side man, father acted in self-defense in 2011 stabbing death, lawyer argues

| Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 12:07 a.m.

The trial of a father and son accused of killing a man outside their North Side home began on Monday with their attorney arguing they acted in self-defense.

Bryan Keith Osborne, 44, and Alex Keith Osborne, 21, are charged with homicide and conspiracy for the stabbing death of Michael Weismantle, 26, of the North Side on Sept. 8, 2011.

The Obsornes' trial before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning is expected to last several days.

Patrick Thomassey, an attorney representing Bryan Osborne, said the Osbornes were defending themselves and were permitted to do so under the “Castle Doctrine” signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett in June 2011. It permits Pennsylvania residents to “stand their ground” when facing an attacker.

Assistant District Attorney Ilan Zur said the law is “irrelevant” because Weismantle didn't have a deadly weapon.

Manning rejected a motion to dismiss the case. Thomassey had argued that there was not sufficient evidence to proceed. The facts will be brought out during the trial, which will resume on Tuesday, Manning said.

Police said the trouble began when Weismantle's sister had a disagreement with Bryan Osborne's daughter. After the girls fought, the Osbornes began arguing with Weismantle. Alex Osborne told police he stabbed Weismantle at least twice with a cleaver-style knife after Weismantle threw a glass bottle at him.

Randal Richard, 43, who knew some of the people involved, told police that Bryan Osborne stabbed him twice when he arrived to break up the fight. Bryan Osborne also is charged with aggravated assault and possession of a weapon.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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