Share This Page

Texan gets probation in stabbing at Riser's Pub in Connellsville Township

| Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Texan convicted of aggravated assault for a stabbing during a Fayette County bar fight last year was sentenced on Monday to serve a term of probation.

Marcus Claude Moreau, 42, a pipeline welder from Channelview who was staying in a Uniontown hotel while working in the gas industry, was found not guilty of two additional charges of aggravated assault and one count of simple assault.

Judge Nancy Vernon sentenced him to serve three years probation and pay numerous costs and fines.

She noted that Moreau had no prior criminal record and that she had received numerous letters of support on his behalf.

Defense attorney Brent Peck said he had asked Vernon to consider overturning the jury's finding, but that after consideration she chose to follow the verdict.

“Marcus is a good man. He believed he ... was in fear for his life and his friend's life. He's a family man and a hard worker, providing for his family and a sister. He is a strong member of his church and his community,” Peck said.

During his trial, Moreau testified that he and his friend and co-worker, Eli Lopez, feared for their lives in the March 10, 2011, incident in Riser's Pub in Connellsville Township.

Words were exchanged between his table's occupants and a group of men playing darts nearby.

Lopez and one of the men got into a physical confrontation, Lopez testified.

He said several people “rushed” at him, spewing racial and ethnic slurs and trying to prevent his group from leaving the bar.

Moreau, who is black, said he had gone to the bar to get some drinks when, he said, he “heard a ruckus going on.”

He said he saw his friend in “a scuffle” and tried to “stop the altercation.”

“I was scared for my life. I had a bunch of people beating on me. Nobody was going to help me, so I'm going to get out,” Moreau said.

He acknowledged that he was carrying a folding pen knife in his pocket, which he used for work.

He testified that he did not know when the knife came out of his pocket.

Assistant District Attorney Doug Sepic reviewed a video of the night's events, pointing out where he said it appeared a knife was in Moreau's hand.

A man who confronted Lopez after he punched a patron, and a bartender who tried to grab Moreau's arm, sustained stab and slash wounds, respectively, in the melee, testimony showed.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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.