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Judge reinstates plea deal after jailing man for negative comment

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By Bobby Kerlik
Monday, Oct. 31, 2011

An Allegheny County judge accepted a Clairton man's plea deal today in a criminal case, five days after she jailed him and voided it when he made a disparaging remark in court.

Edward Burgwin, 45, again pleaded no contest to endangering the welfare of a child and simple assault in exchange for six months of house arrest and five years of probation for a Sept. 1, 2010, incident with a girl. Burgwin took the same deal on Wednesday, but while sitting in the gallery after the plea, he made a remark about the process, which was relayed to Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel by a staffer.

She voided the plea and revoked his bond while the man's attorney, James Sheets, was not present.

During a hearing today, the judge agreed to accept the plea deal again, saying she took his comments last week to mean he wanted to withdraw his plea. The judge said she decided to void the plea deal last week without Sheets present after her staff unsuccessfully tried to contact him.

Burgwin told the judge today that he understood the deal and agreed to it.

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