ShareThis Page
Suspects in Monessen shooting reject plea deals | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Suspects in Monessen shooting reject plea deals

Rich Cholodofsky
865677_web1_GavelNewN

Two men awaiting a retrial in connection with a shooting nearly two years ago in Monessen rejected plea bargains on Monday and said they want a jury to decide their fates.

Joseph “Jo Jo” Heath and Rashawn Ford, both of Monessen, have disputed charges that they were involved in the shooting that left Timothy “Boo” Kershaw wounded following an early morning attack on June 25, 2017.

Heath, 29, was charged with attempted murder and 13 other offenses as police said he was the gunman who fired the shots at Kershaw. Ford, 23, was charged with two counts of conspiracy.

Westmoreland County Judge Christopher Feliciani declared a mistrial in January just before Kershaw was set to testify. Feliciani said prosecutors failed to turn over new statements Kershaw made to police days before the trial started.

In court on Monday, defense attorney Emily Smarto said Heath rejected a deal that would have resulted in him pleading guilty to a lesser charge and sentenced to time served in jail since his arrest. Heath was released on bail after the mistrial.

Smarto said Heath objected to pleading guilty to a felony offense.

Ford, who remains in jail, declined a proposed plea bargain in which he would receive a sentence of 11 1/2 to 23 months behind bars, said lawyer Ryan Tutera.

Their trial is scheduled for this week, but because it is listed behind other cases, it may not be held until at least May, the judge said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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.