2 sentenced for avoiding arrest after Steelers player was stabbed
An Allegheny County judge on Wednesday sentenced two Hazelwood men convicted of trying to avoid arrest in the days after police charged them with stabbing Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Mike Adams.
A jury acquitted the two and a third man in April of the most serious charges related to the assault.
Common Pleas Judge Anthony M. Mariani sentenced Dquay Means, 27, to three years of probation and 300 hours of community service. Means, a rap artist signed to Wiz Khalifa's record label, was immediately released from custody.
Police said Means ran from them in the days after the attack on June 1, 2013, outside the Cambod-Ican Kitchen in the South Side. He later turned himself in at the behest of his mother.
Mariani sentenced Jerrell Whitlock, 27, to 18 to 36 months in prison and three years of probation. He will receive about 14 months of credit for time served.
Police said he used false identification to board a bus to Florida. When U.S. Marshals forced their way into his second-floor hotel room in Gainesville, Whitlock tried to flee through the back door and onto a balcony, where he was struck by a stun gun.
“I make no excuses,” Whitlock told the judge. “It was a bad choice.”
His lawyer, Bill Difenderfer, said his client was afraid to face charges, especially in such a high-profile case.
“Should he have surrendered? Yes. Should he have not resisted? Yes,” Difenderfer said.
Mariani said Whitlock should have “been a man” and faced the charges. “The community has a reasonable expectation that he conduct himself differently,” the judge said.
Means, Whitlock and Michael Paranay, 26, also of Hazelwood, were charged with attempted homicide, attempted robbery and other counts in the stabbing and attempted carjacking of Adams.
A jury acquitted all three men of the most serious charges, but found Means guilty of escape and Whitlock guilty of flight to avoid apprehension, both third-degree felonies.
At trial in April, Adams claimed Paranay punched him, Means showed him a gun, and Whitlock stabbed him.
The defense called Adams' story into question by showing how it changed three times. Lawyers portrayed Adams as drunken and aggressive.
Doctors at UPMC Mercy said Adams' blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit to drive. The lawyers said he had a motive to lie because he was on thin ice with the Steelers from testing positive for marijuana before the 2012 NFL draft.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.