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Donora man acquitted of trying to kill rival

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 11:03 p.m.

After 90 minutes of deliberations, a Westmoreland County jury on Wednesday acquitted a Donora man of trying to kill his romantic rival in a Monessen bar.

The jury found Calvin Goggins, 62, guilty of lesser charges of reckless endangerment and a firearms offense.

Prosecutors contended Goggins argued over the telephone with his former girlfriend and her new boyfriend on Sept. 6, 2012. Fifteen minutes later, he stormed into the Steel City Grille and fired three shots from his .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun. No one was injured.

The jury rejected the prosecution's efforts to convict Goggins of attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Assistant District Attorney Allen Powanda said Goggins went to the bar specifically to kill Jeffrey Hill. Evidence during the two-day trial indicated the altercation between Goggins and Hill started when Goggins repeatedly called his ex-girlfriend, Hope Harris.

Prosecutors contended Goggins fired the shots and was immediately subdued by Hill and others in the bar.

Goggins, who has been in jail since his arrest the day of the shooting, will be sentenced in about two months by Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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