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Self-defense cited in Murrysville Wal-Mart fight

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Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

A Westmoreland County judge will decide whether a fight more than a year ago in front of the Murrysville Wal-Mart store constituted a felony assault.

The lawyer for Robert Crise argued in court Thursday that Crise was not the aggressor in the altercation that left 44-year-old Jamey Campbell of Latrobe hospitalized for three days with a concussion.

“This is a self-defense case, and the video clearly shows Mr. Campbell advancing on my client,” said defense attorney Jeff Leonard.

Crise, 39, of Delmont was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment in the Dec. 1, 2012 altercation. Police said Crise was upset over being cut off as his vehicle entered the store's parking lot. He approached Campbell and punched him, police reported.

Assistant District Attorney Chuck Washburn said Crise should face an aggravated assault charge because Campbell suffered serious bodily injuries in the fight.

“It's a case of road rage that led to an aggravated assault and someone that was seriously injured,” Washburn said.

Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. refused to give Washburn additional time to produce medical evidence to substantial the assault charge.

Washburn was ordered by two judges last year to turn over Campbell's medical records to the defense, McCormick said. As of Thursday, those records had not been produced.

As a result, the judge will rule on a defense request to dismiss one count of aggravated assault based on testimony given at a preliminary hearing last year and his review of a one-minute video that shows the confrontation.

The trial could be scheduled for later this year.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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