Prosecutor wants suspects in stabbing of Steelers lineman Adams to stand before jurors
Compelling three men accused of stabbing Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Mike Adams to stand should-to-shoulder within a few feet of the jury is tantamount to a “perp walk” and should not be allowed, an attorney for one of the men said on Friday.
But that's what Assistant District Attorney Christopher Stone asked a judge to make them do before he wraps up his case in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, which could happen as early as Monday.
Michael Paranay, 26; Dquay Means, 26; and Jerrell Whitlock, 27, all of Hazelwood, are charged with attempted homicide, conspiracy and attempted robbery. Police said they stabbed Adams near the corner of East Carson and 17th streets in the South Side shortly before 3 a.m. June 1.
Stone asked that the men stand next to each other to show jurors their “relative builds” after the jurors watch a surveillance video showing three men running from the area where Adams was stabbed.
“It is tantamount to a lineup and is extremely prejudicial,” said Fred Rabner, Means' lawyer. “The absurdity of it is so prejudicial.”
Witnesses throughout the trial described the men with varying accuracy. Paranay, who stands 5 feet, 7 inches tall, for example, was described as between 5 feet, 4 inches and 5 feet, 8 inches tall.
“It's all vague as heck,” said Bill Difenderfer, Whitlock's lawyer.
Judge Anthony M. Mariani said having all three stand next to each other could be “suggestive” to the jury. He requested that Stone show him whether it has been allowed in other cases and said he will decide on Monday.
Adams this week testified that Means and Whitlock approached him as he got out of his Ford F-150 Raptor truck and asked if it belonged to him. They told him to “give it up,” he said.
Means showed him a gun and threatened to shoot him in the face, Adams said.
Adam Brandolph is a Trib Total Media staff writer.
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