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'Citizen of God' gets DUI conviction, fine

| Friday, Dec. 6, 2002

A Moon Township man who had claimed he was "a citizen of God" and said the courts lacked jurisdiction over him was convicted Thursday by an Allegheny County jury of drunken driving.

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated about one hour before convicting Richard Grossi, 57, of driving under the influence of alcohol on May 6, 2001, in Moon.

Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman sentenced Grossi, who has been incarcerated for almost one year, to time served and paroled him immediately.

The judge also placed Grossi on one year probation, and fined him $300. The defendant must attend safe driving school and submit to alcohol evaluation.

Grossi, a boilermaker and father of three, said he wanted to appeal his conviction because his court-appointed attorney, Erika Kreisman, didn't have time to prepare his defense. He had fired another court-appointed counsel last week and asked for Kreisman.

Moon Township police Officer Shener R. Ulke, who stopped Grossi after seeing him strike a curb and swerve three times onto the berm, testified the defendant smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes.

Grossi refused to cooperate with field sobriety tests or have blood drawn, and answered questions by saying, "Woof. Woof."

Assistant District Attorney Brent McCune told the jury that Grossi "stonewalled the truth" by his actions. He urged the jury not "to let that happen."

Kreisman claimed that Grossi's behavior could have had other explanations, including that the defendant was tired or mentally ill.

Grossi had been committed to Mayview State Hospital in South Fayette Township for an evaluation, but the results weren't presented to the jury. He was ruled competent to stand trial.

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