• Man pleads no contest to weapons charge related to Lower Burrell officer's slaying

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    WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. - A man has pleaded no contest to a weapons charge involving the gun later used to kill a western Pennsylvania police officer three years ago.

     Fifty-four-year-old James Ameris III of Lower Burrell entered the plea Tuesday in Westmoreland County Court and also pleaded no contest to weapons and witness intimidation charges in another case.

     Ameris was charged with having at one time possessed the gun that fugitive Charles Post later used to kill Lower Burrell police officer Derek Kotecki in a restaurant parking lot in October 2011. Post died during a gun battle with police.

     Defense attorney Duke George said his client said he never had the gun used to kill the officer and feels he fell victim to another man who gave different accounts to investigators about the weapon.

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