A police informant says one of two men suspected in a shooting that paralyzed a western Pennsylvania police officer confessed in recorded conversations.
The informant testified Thursday that 27-year-old Emilio Rivera told him he'd taken part in the April 2011 home invasion that ended with Clairton police Officer James Kuzak paralyzed after being shot five times.
The informant testified about the recordings Thursday at the trial of Rivera and co-defendant Marcus Andrejco. Prosecutors expect to play the recordings in court Friday.
Police say Andrejco confessed and apologized for the officer's injuries but said he didn't pull the trigger.
Attorneys for both defendants say their statements were coerced.
Widow of officer in wrong-way crash sues driver
PHILADELPHIA — The widow of a Philadelphia police officer killed in a wrong-way crash last month is suing the driver and the suburban restaurant that served him alcohol before the crash.
Investigators say Highway Patrol motorcycle Officer Brian Lorenzo was returning home after his shift when he was hit by a drunk driver heading the wrong way on Interstate 95 on July 8.
Now Lorenzo's wife, Linda, says a Bensalem restaurant served John Leck Jr. at least six alcoholic beverages before the crash. The suit says Leck had a blood-alcohol content of .218 after the crash, well over twice the legal limit for drivers.
The suit seeks compensation for lost financial support and companionship.
Leck faces charges including murder and vehicular homicide.
Jury to return for second day in Pittsburgh beating case
PITTSBURGH — A federal court jury is set to return for a second day of deliberations in the civil rights trial of three white Pittsburgh police officers being sued for allegedly beating and wrongfully arresting a young black man.
The jurors on Thursday heard closing arguments after more than two weeks of testimony on behalf of 20-year-old Jordan Miles and officers Michael Saldutte, Richard Ewing and David Sisak.
The officers say Miles appeared to be prowling and they thought a bulge in his jacket was a gun when they stopped him on Jan. 12, 2010, then punched and kneed him after he tried to run away.
But Miles says the officers didn't identify themselves as police and rushed up to him asking if he had money, drugs and a gun, so he panicked fearing he was being robbed.
Fed judge to hear Mexican extradition of Greene County man
PITTSBURGH — A federal magistrate in Pittsburgh is set to hear the government's request to extradite a western Pennsylvania man to Mexico, where he's charged with raping and strangling a 16-year-old boy in a hotel there nearly nine years ago.
Attorneys for 29-year-old Dylan Ryan Johnson, of Nemacolin, are opposing extradition and want the magistrate to release Johnson on bond until the matter can be resolved.
Federal court records show Johnson was arrested at his home on Feb. 7 and has been in custody since.
A criminal complaint says Johnson is charged with raping and murdering Hilario Garcia Rosales on Sept. 7, 2003 at a hotel in Empalme Escobedo in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.
Johnson's attorney says Johnson didn't knowingly leave Mexico to avoid prosecution because and didn't know he faced charges there until his arrest.
Suburban Pittsburgh homeowner, 2 intruders shot in drug invasion
PORT VUE — Allegheny County homicide detectives have been sorting through a drug-related home invasion shootout that left the homeowner wounded and facing drug charges, and both intruders shot — one fatally.
Police are not releasing any names yet, but say the incident happened about 11:30 p.m. Thursday at the home of a 62-year-old man in Port Vue.
Police say the intruders, 18 and 24 years old, went to rob the man of marijuana. After the men fought, one of the intruders exchanged gunfire with the homeowner and all three men were wounded.
Police say the 18-year-old died at a hospital. The 24-year-old was shot in the arm while the homeowner was treated for a gunshot that grazed his head.
Police say the homeowner will be charged for growing marijuana and the 24-year-old with robbery.
Police: Central Pa. man gave girlfriend fatal push
NEW PROVIDENCE — A Lancaster County man faces homicide charges after police say he pushed his live-in girlfriend down a flight of stairs after arguing over her daughter's refusal to eat dinner.
State police say 33-year-old Shane Sigman pushed Virginia Cole down the steps of their Providence Township, Lancaster County, home on Wednesday night.
A police affidavit says Sigman and Cole were arguing downstairs before he went to the second floor and yelled at Cole's 12-year-old daughter. After that, police say Cole went upstairs and the couple argued briefly before Sigman pushed her.
Investigators say Sigman also kicked Cole's daughter in the face before she ran to a neighbor's home for help.
Sigman is being held without bail on charges of homicide and simple assault. Court records don't list an attorney for him.
Philly Pops conductor Nero to step down in 2013
PHILADELPHIA — Philly Pops artistic director Peter Nero will step down in 2013 after more than three decades as the group's leader and most recognizable face.
Under the terms of the deal approved by a bankruptcy judge Thursday, Nero will turn over the rights to the group's name upon his departure. But Nero could regain control of the ensemble if any severance payments are missed.
The Philly Pops called Nero's contract too expensive and sought to severe ties as it dealt with the fallout from a bankruptcy filing by its then-parent organization, the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Nero's attorney told the court his 78-year-old client has no intention of retiring and will be free to lead other ensembles.