Westmoreland judge denies bid to have Monessen man’s case dismissed | TribLIVE.com

Westmoreland judge denies bid to have Monessen man’s case dismissed

Rich Cholodofsky

A Westmoreland County judge Tuesday rejected a defense bid to have the case dismissed against a Monessen man charged with conspiracy in connection with a 2017 shooting.

Defense attorney Ryan Tutera argued intentional misconduct by prosecutors caused the premature ending to the attempted murder and conspiracy trial last month of Rayshawn Ford and Joseph “Jo Jo” Heath. As a result, a new trial should be barred based on double jeopardy claims, he said.

Ford, 23, is in jail awaiting a potential retrial for two conspiracy charges related to his role in the June 25, 2017 shooting of Timothy “Boo” Kershaw, who was injured but survived the attack that occurred on a Monessen street.

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

“There is no evidence it was intentional to provoke a mistrial,” Feliciani ruled.

Ford is being held in jail in lieu of $100,000 bail as he awaits a decision by prosecutors as to whether the case will be retried. Assistant District Attorney Jackie Knupp said a decision is expected within the next four months.

Heath, 29, of Monessen, is facing 14 charges including attempted murder. He was released on bail last month.

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.