Trial date set for men accused in Monroeville kidnapping
Two men facing charges related to the alleged kidnapping of a Monroeville woman will get their day in court.
A trial date of July 29 was set last week for Justice J. McCallum and Derrick Duke, who were 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.
McCallum, 24, of Penn Hills and Duke, 25, of Swissvale pleaded not guilty to felonies and various lesser charges in March. They are being held on a $500,000 straight bond at the Allegheny County Jail.
According to a criminal complaint filed against the duo, a Monroeville woman was kidnapped from her Shaw Avenue house and held for ransom. The kidnappers allegedly 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 eventually agreed to pay $11,000 in cash at a drop-off location, according to court documents, which led police to Kelly Street in Homewood. McCallum and Duke were in an SUV to pick up the cash and sped away when they spotted police.
During the chase, Duke jumped out of the vehicle and was arrested shortly after. McCallum, who allegedly drove, crashed into a city Department of Public Works truck and ran from the crash, eventually being caught and arrested after police found him stuck on a fence in the 200 block of Polk Way.
The woman, meanwhile, escaped from an abandoned house on Kelly Street by untying her feet and hopping to neighboring houses, 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.
Duke is being represented by a public defender and McCallum is now being represented by David J. Shrager after an initial representation by Robert Mielnicki.
Shrager was not immediately available to comment and Duke’s public defender declined to comment. However, Mielnicki had said he could prove that McCallum 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 other phones found by police in the vehicle McCallum drove, will show that the duo did not know the others involved.
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 .