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Kittanning man released after bail reduction in beating death

| Monday, June 10, 2013, 8:54 p.m.

The Kittanning man accused of “sucker punching” James Sullivan, the 39-year-old Chicora man who was subsequently kicked and stomped to death outside a Kittanning bar early St. Patrick's Day, has been released from custody after a bail reduction hearing on Monday.

Dennis Andrew Rosenberger, 27, was released from Armstrong County Jail after posting $25,000 bond set by Judge Kenneth Valasek under conditions including that Rosenberger remain confined under GPS monitoring at a home along Queen Street.

He also must refrain from possessing or using alcohol and controlled substances and will be subject to drug testing through the Armstrong County Probation Office.

Rosenberger still faces charges of criminal homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and harassment for his alleged role in the death of Sullivan, who was killed from injuries sustained in the fight behind the Wick City Saloon around 1:30 a.m. March 17.

Rosenberger is accused of running up behind Sullivan and punching him, which caused his head to strike the pavement on Montieth Street.

While Sullivan was unconscious, he was allegedly assaulted by Keith Allen Brison, 32, of Kittanning; Otilio Cosme, 43, of Ford City; and Anthony Michael Bove, 18, of Ford City.

Witnesses saw fight

Witnesses said the three men repeatedly kicked Sullivan in his sides and Cosme is accused of standing on Sullivan's chest and repeatedly stomping up and down.

Sullivan was pronounced dead at ACMH Hospital about an hour later.

Rosenberger was the first suspect named in the case and was placed in Armstrong County Jail later that day in lieu of $50,000 bond for charges of simple and aggravated assault.

In April, an autopsy performed by Dr. Cyril Wecht revealed that Sullivan had suffered a fractured skull when he fell to the ground and District Attorney Scott Andreassi filed a new complaint against Rosenberger adding the more serious charge of criminal homicide.

However, court documents from Monday's bail reduction hearing state that “the Commonwealth conceded that the criminal homicide charge that the defendant faces does not rise to the level of either murder of the first degree or second degree.”

The trial for all four accused is set to begin Oct 7.

Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or tkaran@tribweb.com.

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