Judge selected in Monroeville kidnapping case
An Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas judge has been selected to hear the cases of two men alleged to have been involved in a Monroeville kidnapping.
Derrick D. Duke, 25, of Swissvale, and Justice J. McCallum, 24, of Penn Hills, will face Judge Randal B. Todd on May 17 for a pretrial conference. They both pleaded not guilty to felonies and various lesser charges in March.
The formal arraignment scheduled for April 17 was postponed.
The duo was arrested in February after allegedly leading police and FBI officers on a short chase through Pittsburgh that ended when their vehicle crashed into a city Department of Public Works truck.
According to the criminal complaint, the woman was kidnapped from her Shaw Avenue house and held for ransom. The kidnappers used the woman’s cell phone to call her son, David Quick, and demand $40,000, then $50,000 with four pounds of marijuana and two guns. Quick agreed to pay $11,000 in cash, according to court documents.
Officers attempted to position themselves at the agreed-upon drop spot in order to identify the alleged kidnappers.
When Quick left the money on Kelly Street in Homewood, McCallum and Duke allegedly saw police and sped away, beginning a chase during which Duke jumped out of the vehicle. He was arrested shortly after. McCallum, who allegedly drove, crashed into a city Department of Public Works truck and ran from the crash. He was apprehended when he got caught in a fence in the 200 block of Polk Way.
The woman, meanwhile, had escaped an abandoned house on Kelly Street by untying her feet and hopping outside to a neighboring house, the complaint said. Police found her around 2:30 a.m. at a house on Ladson Street with her feet still tied to a chair and bruises on her wrists and face.
Duke is charged with kidnapping, robbery of a motor vehicle, criminal conspiracy, simple assault, theft by extortion, recklessly endangering another person and unlawful restraint.
McCallum faces the same charges, in addition to fleeing or attempting to elude police officers and reckless driving.
They are both being held in Allegheny County Jail.
Duke is being represented by Max Daniel Cotton, a public defender. McCallum is being represented by Robert Mielnicki. Cotton was not immediately available to comment.
Mielnicki said he thinks he can prove that his client was not connected to the people who “orchestrated the kidnapping.”
He said police think there were up to five people involved in the kidnapping and that by analyzing Quick’s cell phone, and the phones found by police in the vehicle McCallum drove, will show that McCallum and Duke did not know the others involved.
“So I wish (police) would find the people who made that call (to Quick) because it would help my cause,” Mielnicki said.
Monroeville police were not immediately available to comment.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .