Allegheny County DA Zappala calls for homicide preliminary hearings to be held at county courthouse

PITTSBURGH — Allegheny County District Attorney has requested a motion to President Judge Kim Berkeley Clark that all homicide preliminary hearings be moved from municipal court to the Allegheny County Courthouse.

“Defendants charged with criminal homicide are obviously a great danger to public safety and the community,” said Zappala in a news release.

Zappala stated several causes of concern in the motion about holding criminal homicide preliminary hearings within the Pittsburgh Municipal Court including security, privacy of victim’s families and access to necessary equipment and software.

“Currently, at Pittsburgh Municipal Court, these sensitive meetings happen in the common area accessible to everyone including the defendant and his/her associates and/or antagonistic individuals to the victim/victim’s family,” Zappala said.

He also said recent events in the handling of serious and violent crime at the city court require that more assets be more rapidly available to ensure that victims’ rights and the public’s safety remain critical considerations.

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