Allegheny County

Man charged in Uber driver’s death should not face death penalty, public defender’s office says

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — The Allegheny County Public Defender’s office said it doesn’t have enough death penalty-qualified attorneys to represent the man accused of killing Uber driver Christina Spicuzza in February.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala announced last month that his office will seek the death penalty in the case against Calvin Crew, the man accused of murdering Spicuzza, the local mom of four who was driving for Uber at the time of her death.

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According to our partners at the Trib, the district attorney’s office also said it would be seeking capital punishment for two other cases and the PD’s office is facing an “incredible burden” because of this.

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The Trib reports that the PD’s office has four death penalty-qualified attorneys but is currently handling two death-penalty cases with one pending. The office reportedly said it doesn’t believe there’s sufficient “aggravating circumstances” to warrant the death penalty against Crew while also saying it doesn’t have enough staff to defend him in a capital case.

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The Trib also reports that the PD accused the DA’s office of violating a gag order surrounding the case by giving documents and evidence to media.

“There is nothing unique about the facts of this case, nor the prior criminal history of Mr. Crew to justify a capital sentence,” the PD’s office wrote in the Trib.