Death penalty trial delayed for man accused of killing off-duty Pittsburgh police officer

PITTSBURGH — The death penalty trial for the man accused of killing an off-duty police officer has been delayed.

Jury selection in the case against Christian Bey was to begin Monday but a continuance was filed by his defense attorneys, who said they need time to meet the state requirements to be qualified to handle the death-penalty case, Channel 11 news partner the Tribune-Review reports.

Bey, 33, of Wilkinsburg, is charged with criminal homicide in the July 14, 2019, shooting death of 36-year-old Pittsburgh police officer Calvin Hall. Bey is accused of shooting Hall during a block party on Monticello Street. Investigators said Hall was shot in the back three times. He died three days later as a result of his injuries.

Bey was arrested eight days after the shooting.

More than a month later, the district attorney’s office announced it would seek the death penalty.

Pennsylvania Rule 801 sets the requirements for defense attorneys to be eligible to participate in a death penalty case. Bey is represented by attorneys Thomas N. Farrell, Carmen Robinson and Elbert Gray Jr. According to the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education website, Farrell is qualified, but neither Robinson nor Gray are, the Trib reports.

Jury selection has been rescheduled for Feb. 27, with testimony to begin March 13.