Man set for trial in Penn Hills officer slaying found 'unresponsive' in jail cell



PITTSBURGH - The man set to go to trial on charges he shot and killed a Penn Hills officer three years ago was found "unresponsive" in his jail cell Tuesday, officials said, just as jury selection was slated to begin.

Officer Michael Crawshaw, of Shaler Township, was killed in December 2009 when he responded to a call about a man with a gun at a Penn Hills home.

Investigators said Ronald Robinson, of Homewood, shot and killed Crawshaw as he waited in his cruiser for backup. Robinson is also accused of killing Danyal Morton. The shooting at the home was over a drug debt, investigators said.

Allegheny County District Attorney's office spokesman Mike Manko said Robinson was found unresponsive in his cell Tuesday morning.

Robinson’s attorney said he’s handcuffed to his UPMC Mercy Hospital bed in bad shape. He’s still unconscious and on life-support.

Authorities said Robinson’s condition is so grave that the trial judge signed a court order so Robinson’s mother could visit him for 30 minutes Tuesday.

Jury selection was postponed last month because a key witness in the case could not be located. That witness was later arrested by U.S. Marshals and the case was moved up.

Testimony is set to begin later this month. The district attorney said he will seek the death penalty in the case.