PITTSBURGH - Light is being shed on the pretrial process for Michael Rosfeld, the former East Pittsburgh police officer charged with shooting and killing unarmed teenager Antwon Rose last summer.
Channel 11 on Friday night obtained the transcript of Jan. 3 contempt hearing involving Rosfeld’s attorney, Pat Thomassey.
The hearing was held behind closed doors and concerned prosecutors’ claims that Thomassey violated a judge’s gag order on the case.
The commonwealth argued that Thomassey “blurted out the information that we were concerned about coming into the public’s attention” at a previous hearing.
Prosecutors went on to argue that Thomassey in open court said a witness claimed that Antwon Rose committed armed robbery the day he was shot and killed by Officer Michael Rosfeld.
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Another part of this hearing involved the media.
Attorney William Diffenderfer, who defended Thomassey in this hearing, argued that media coverage of Rosfeld has not been balanced.
He said, “Let’s talk about how the media coverage has totally destroyed this police officer’s reputation.”
The hearing ended with Judge Alexander P. Bicket saying, “I just don’t think that Mr. Thomassey’s conduct rises to the level of contempt. I don’t think if the argument is that it does, I don’t think it’s been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Attorney Lee Meritt, who represents Rose's family in a civil suit in the matter, issued this statement:
“Mr. Thomassey intentionally violated the Court’s order in an ongoing campaign to get this case removed from its rightful place before the people of Allegheny County. His willingness to play fast and loose with, not only the rule of law, but with the memory of a beloved seventeen year old is shameful. His wild allegations have no basis in fact and will ultimately prove irrelevant. Rosfeld committed murder when he shot Antwon Rose who was neither armed nor threatening. His actions were caught on tape and witnessed by several people. Thomassey’s antics will do little to overcome these facts. “
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