Detective: Poor lighting ruins surveillance footage of attack on Steelers lineman

by: Adam Brandolph, TribLIVE Updated:


PITTSBURGH - A lawyer for one of the three men accused of stabbing Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Mike Adams on Monday said he plans to ask the judge to declare a mistrial if they're required to stand up before the jury.

(This article was written by Adam Brandolph, a staff writer for Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE.)

“You're essentially OKing a re-creation,” attorney Fred Rabner told Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Anthony M. Mariani.

“I've made up my mind,” Mariani said.

Michael Paranay, 26; Dquay Means, 26; and Jerrell Whitlock, 27, all of Hazelwood, are charged with attempted homicide, conspiracy and attempted robbery. Police said they stabbed Adams near the corner of East Carson and 17th streets in the South Side shortly before 3 a.m. June 1.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Stone on Friday asked Mariani to tell the men to stand shoulder-to-shoulder so the jury can see their comparative sizes. Rabner called it a “perp walk” that will taint the jury.

Mariani said he would require the men to stand at the defense table for five to 10 seconds.

On Monday morning, Pittsburgh police homicide Detective Robert Shaw said poor lighting outside Nakama Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar along East Carson Street ruined video from a surveillance camera that might have shown Adams get stabbed.

Shaw said video from the other cameras, including one near the front of the restaurant that could have shown whether Adams parked his car, “was of no relevance to me,” so he didn't view it.

“We now have a missing camera of this one shot that would have shown the whole thing,” said Bill Difenderfer, Whitlock's lawyer.

Difenderfer; Rabner and Randall McKinney, Paranay's lawyer, have attempted to cast doubt on Adams' version of events throughout the trial, which began Tuesday.

Adams testified last week that Means and Whitlock approached him as he got out of his Ford F-150 Raptor truck and asked if it belonged to him, told him to “give it up” and that Means showed pointed a gun in his face.

Det. Tom Leheny testified that there were discrepancies in what Adams initially told him following surgery at UPMC Mercy and at a preliminary hearing June 18. On Friday, two officers testified that Adams didn't tell them that one of the assailants had a gun or that they threatened to rob his truck.

Lawyers for the three men said Adams lied because he was already on thin ice with the team, noting he failed a drug test before the team drafted him in 2012.

Stone plans to call one witness Monday afternoon before resting his case. Closing arguments are expected to begin Tuesday after the defense calls its witnesses.