Women plead guilty to helping Lower Burrell policeman's killer
A woman and her niece pleaded guilty on Thursday to helping the man who shot and killed Lower Burrell police officer Derek Kotecki to avoid arrest less than two weeks before the fatal shooting.
Nicole Walters, 39, and her 25-year-old niece, Amanda Walters, both of Lower Burrell, were charged with helping Charlie Post in the days after he was accused of attempted murder in a shooting in the Clarion Hotel parking lot in New Kensington.
Police said Nicole Walters is a former girlfriend of Charlie Post.
The women pleaded guilty to felony charges of hindering apprehension and conspiracy. Westmoreland County Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. will sentence them in about three months.
Prosecutors said the two gave Post food, money, clothing and a cellphone after he went on the run following the New Kensington shooting on Oct. 2, 2011.
Ten days later, police found Post, 33, at a Lower Burrell Dairy Queen. Kotecki was shot and killed during a gunfight outside the restaurant. Post killed himself during the firefight.
“We were seeking Charlie Post for attempted murder, so anything is possible. If only they had assisted law enforcement, it (Kotecki's death) might not have occurred,” said Assistant District Attorney Leo Ciaramitaro.
Both women declined to comment after Thursday's hearing. Their lawyers said neither was to blame for Kotecki's death.
“She did nothing to cause that police officer's death,” said Nicole Walter's lawyer, Stan Levenson. “She felt very coerced and intimidated into assisting Mr. Post.”
Amanda Walter's lawyer, Ryan Tutera, said his client was sorry that her actions ultimately led to Kotecki's murder.
“No one foresaw that. It was tragic. Her involvement was very minimal,” Tutera said.
Post's older brother, Chad Post, faces similar charges. Police said Chad Post drove his brother from New Kensington to a location in Allegheny County.
On Thursday, Chad Post's case was delayed until June, when pretrial motions will be heard.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 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.
- IRS scam snares another Westmoreland County resident
- Krieger to seek Westmoreland County Common Pleas judgeship
- Rustic Ridge Mine permit request criticized
- WCCC officials vow to erase $2.2M deficit
- Walker: Still time to recycle live Christmas trees in Scottdale
- New Derry woman charged after mail delivery of 4 pounds of marijuana
- Derry Township auto shop owner finds theft suspect hiding inside
- Salem man, in lockup in Greensburg shooting, charged with threatening to kill prison guard
- Former Steelers LB Haggans to do time in Westmoreland jail
- Ligonier planners recommend approval of restaurant proposal
- Ligonier Township residents voice concern to supervisors about new zoning ordinance