PITTSBURGH - An Allegheny County jury has decided that a Homewood man will spend two consecutive life terms in prison for fatally shooting a Penn Hills police officer and another man more than three years ago.
On Tuesday afternoon Common Pleas Judge Kevin G. Sasinoski sentenced 35-year-old Ronald Robinson after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder for shooting 40-year-old Danyal Morton over a $500 drug dispute, and second-degree murder for shooting Penn Hills Officer Michael Crawshaw, who had responded to the scene.
The first-degree murder charge could have carried a death sentence, but Morton's family waived that proceeding, meaning the judge could go straight to sentencing.
Robinson killed Morton in the bathroom of his Penn Hills home over the drug debt and as he fled sprayed Crawshaw‘s police car with shots from an AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle, striking the officer in the head and the left arm, killing him instantly.
The jury deliberated for more than 10 hours before coming to the guilty verdicts.
The jury's verdict means they agreed Crawshaw was killed during another felony -- but rejected the prosecution's contention the officer's murder was premeditated.
Robinson's defense attorneys conceded the facts of the case, but argued he should have been convicted of second-degree murder for both slayings since both homicides were committed in the commission of other crimes.
Robinson, wearing a yellow button-down shirt and black pants, displayed no emotion as he left the courtroom. His family was not present.
Pittsburgh, Penn Hills and Allegheny County Police officers awaited the jury‘s verdict just outside the courtroom. Crawshaw‘s family waited in a nearby courtroom.
Channel 11's news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.