• D.A. reacts to criticism from judge


    PITTSBURGH - On Thursday, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala reacted to criticism from Judge Donald Machen.
    Target 11 Investigator Rick Earle reported Machen lashed out at the DA’s office for failing to turn over evidence in the case against Leon Ford.
    “Judges, you know, they have good days and bad days and sometimes they get angry,” said Zappala.
    Police said Ford was shot and paralyzed when he attempted to flee with a police officer still in his car during a traffic stop in Highland Park two years ago.   He's charged with aggravated assault.
    Machen threatened to toss the case, saying the DA’s office failed to turn over evidence to the defense.
    Fred Rabner who represents Ford requested, among other items, documents concerning Pittsburgh police’s policy for traffic stops, policies regarding officers wearing microphones and any additional video and audio recordings of the traffic stop.
    “We want to know if that officer has a microphone that’s available to us as far as recordings,” said Rabner.
    “I’m not sure they’re relevant, but if the judge thinks they’re significant to that particular proceeding, we will do what the judge tells us to do,” said Zappala.

    Next Up: