Without witness, counts dropped against Latrobe councilman
Misdemeanor charges against a Latrobe councilman were dropped Monday after the alleged victim ,who is accused of dealing drugs in the city, declined to testify.
Robert Steven Forish, 50, of Weldon Street, was not present when District Judge Michael Mahady approved the dismissal sought by Assistant District Attorney John Petrush. The proceeding occurred about an hour prior to Forish's scheduled preliminary hearing Monday.
Public defender John Sweeney told Petrush that material witness and victim Bruce Wade Thompkins, 43, “does not desire to testify in the case against Robert Forish,” Petrush said to Mahady.
“I applaud the DA's office for, in my own humble words, doing the right thing,” Mahady said in granting the dismissal.
Forish had faced charges of simple assault and reckless endangerment and was free on his own recognizance following a March 24 incident in which Forish accused Thompkins of dealing drugs. During a confrontation on Forish's porch, the councilman had been accused of threatening Thompkins with a firearm.
The arrest touched off an investigation during which police observed on five separate dates Thompkins and Michelle Muck, 32, allegedly having brief meetings with known drug users in business parking lots throughout Latrobe.
Thompkins and Muck were arrested on May 5 when investigators seized 95 stamp bags of heroin, $680 and drug paraphernalia from the pair's Weldon Street home. Muck allegedly sold six stamp bags to a confidential informant on May 4.
Thompkins was charged with manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Muck was charged with manufacture or possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Muck is free on $25,000 bail while Thompkins is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on the same amount. Preliminary hearings for both suspects were continued on Monday.
During the bust, Latrobe Officer Joseph Angus and the city's K-9 officer, Rocky, suffered minor injuries when they were bitten by a pair of pit bulls. Police killed one of the pit bulls and the second was removed by Hoffman Kennels, police said.
New preliminary hearing dates for Muck and Thompkins have not been scheduled.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Greensburg torture killer Marinucci returns to court seeking lighter sentence
- Rival Westmoreland vape shops develop own specialties
- 10 escape Greensburg house fire
- Unity to decide July 9 on disputed gas station
- Three teens injured in one-vehicle crash in Hempfield
- 3 injured in crash that ties up Route 22 in Salem for nearly 8 hours
- Fire extinguished at Smithton commercial building
- Exotic pet show held monthly in New Stanton
- Mt Pleasant police officer assaulted while making arrest
- Hempfield Area balances budget with 1.79-mill tax increase