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Juror says former West Mifflin cop threatened him

| Monday, Oct. 20, 2008, 12:00 p.m.

A juror on the panel that convicted former West Mifflin police Officer Noel Missig of corruption testified this morning that Missig threatened him after the case ended.

Jeffrey Perozich of Clairton served on the jury that convicted Missig, 40, on July 24 of charges he assaulted a juvenile suspect and lied about the seizure of video poker machines from a borough business. The jury acquitted the West Mifflin man of charges he planted drugs on a suspect.

Perozich said he met after the trial with private investigator Joe Rice, who works for Missig's attorney Steve Greenberg. Perozich said Rice wanted him to sign a document saying he received a call the night before the verdict was announced stating: "You better change your vote to guilty or you're (expletive) dead."

In court for Missig's sentencing hearing this morning, Perozich denied he ever received the phone call and refused to sign the document. Perozich testified he was approached at his home by Missig a few weeks later. Missig's sister, who lives near him, also asked him about the case.

"(Missig) said if I didn't sign it, I'd be subpoenaed. He talked for a while about losing his pension, benefits and he told me how he'd never be able to go back into law enforcement," Perozich said. "In the end, he told me, 'My career, my life and family are in your hands.' He told me, 'Remember we never spoke. I was never here.' And then he said, 'You have a (commercial driver's license) and I know a lot of police officers.'"

Perozich is a school bus driver.

Testimony will resume this afternoon. Missig faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for his five convictions of false swearing, tampering with public records, unsworn falsification to authorities, simple assault and official oppression.

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