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Judge to rule on records violation in East Liberty sisters' murders

Jason Cato
| Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, 9:40 p.m.
Allen Wade, 43, of East Liberty is escorted  in handcuffs from police headquarters on the North Side by Pittsburgh police, on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, after he was charged in the shooting deaths of Susan and Sarah Wolfe who were found dead in their Chislett Street home on February 7.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Allen Wade, 43, of East Liberty is escorted in handcuffs from police headquarters on the North Side by Pittsburgh police, on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, after he was charged in the shooting deaths of Susan and Sarah Wolfe who were found dead in their Chislett Street home on February 7.

An Allegheny County judge on Tuesday will hear arguments about whether the man accused of killing two sisters inside their East Liberty home should avoid trial because of allegations that prosecutors improperly obtained his medical records and other background information.

Common Pleas Judge Edward J. Borkowski previously denied requests from the district attorney's office to gain access to mental health, medical, educational, incarceration, military and other records regarding Allen Wade, 44, who is charged with killing Susan and Sarah Wolfe in February 2014. Wade is charged with homicide, robbery, burglary, theft and other offenses.

The trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 2. If Wade is convicted, prosecutors have said they intend to seek the death penalty.

Wade's attorneys, however, want the judge to end proceedings on grounds prosecutors violated their client's constitutional rights by obtaining his records with subpoenas after failing to get court-issued warrants.

“The commonwealth egregiously abused its discretion in issuing these subpoenas,” public defender Lisa Phillips wrote in her motion. “Any information derived from the commonwealth's gaining improper access to the defendant's medical and/or mental health records and other records cannot be ‘unlearned' by the commonwealth and would taint the prosecution of the defendant in this capital case.”

Jason Cato is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7936 or jcato@tribweb.com.

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