Charges dismissed in West Deer shooting; DA to appeal
PITTSBURGH -- A West Deer man cannot be tried again on charges of trying to kill another man in 2008, a county judge has ruled.
However, the district attorney's office says it will appeal the ruling.
Judge Jeffrey A. Manning ruled that Kenneth G. Kearns, 47, of 80 Mountainview Road, would be subject to double jeopardy if another trial on the charges was allowed. The legal term refers to subjecting a person to a second trial for a crime for which he or she already has been tried.
On May, 15, 2010, Manning declared a mistrial for Kearns on charges of attempted homicide, two counts of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment because the judge learned of the existence of written police notes that were not turned over to the defense attorney while he was preparing for trial.
This week, Kearns' lawyer argued that trying him again on the same charges would constitute double jeopardy.
Manning agreed, and dismissed all charges.
The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office will appeal the decision to a state appellate court.
"While we respect the judge's decision, we will be appealing the ruling," DA's spokesman Mike Manko saidon Tuesday.
Kearns' attorney, Patrick Thomassey, wasn't available for comment.
According to records, Kearns was charged with shooting Joseph Piole, then 44, of Old State Road, Wexford, on June 15, 2008. Piole was shot twice in the torso and once in the right leg, and was hospitalized in Pittsburgh for about three weeks.
At the time, police said the shooting happened shortly before 1:45 a.m. inside Kearns' upstairs game room. Piole and his son had been staying with Kearns, according to police reports, when the two men were involved in an altercation that resulted in the shooting.
Upon his arrest, Kearns told police he shot Piole in self-defense, according to court records.
Piole, who disputes that account, is "extremely unhappy" about the outcome of the case.
An appeal will take at least a year, he said. Piole is unhappy the judge granted 12 postponements requested by the defense even though the prosecution opposed them.
"Here I was laying in a pool of my own blood," Piole said. "Justice• Basically, there is no justice."
Kearns' published number no longer works.
Allegheny County Police and West Deer Police, who investigated, did not return calls for comment yesterday.
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.
- Pirates claim Ishikawa off waivers; Marte injured
- Alvarez homer triggers winning outburst for Pirates
- Woman shot at Kennywood Park in ‘freak accident’
- Missing man found in Garfield
- Man, child hit by car late Saturday in South Side
- Mt. Pleasant Concert in the Park
- Police: Maine man shoots off firework from top of head, dies
- For immigrant children stuck at border, cases churn through courts
- Pennsylvania’s ‘Grand Canyon’ offers something for everyone
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Grandmother of boy dropped at Uniontown Hospital says he’s in ICU