• Ex-karate teacher accused of plotting murders of former students moves closer to trial


    PITTSBURGH - A former karate instructor accused of plotting the murders of five juveniles who said he sexually assaulted them moved one step closer to trial on Friday.

    Michael Scherbanic, 29, of South Park, waived a preliminary hearing.


    “We felt strategically there would not be any ground to gain that does not mean in any stretch of the imagination that we aren't contesting these charges," defense attorney Richard Narvin said.

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    Investigators said Scherbanic plotted the murders of his accusers from his cell in the Allegheny County Jail.

    Prosecutors had planned to play a tape at Friday’s hearing, which they said includes Scherbanic discussing the plan with a witness.


    “Mr. Scherbanic maintains his innocence, and we will be looking forward to whatever evidence the commonwealth will be able to produce at trial," Narvin said.

    Scherbanic remained in the Allegheny County jail on Friday. He is scheduled for a formal arraignment on June 22.


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