PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — For years, it was Paul Dschuhan’s job to uphold the law, but now he could be headed to prison for breaking it.
The one-time Pennsylvania State Trooper, then parole officer, was arrested last summer and accused of threatening a parolee.
But now his attorney tells KDKA’s David Highfield that Dschuhan is prepared to plead guilty to a charge just filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
“He’s depressed – a broken man. I’ve known him about 20 years and he’s just despondent as I’ve seen anybody,” said his attorney Robert Stewart.
Dschuhan was fired from the State Police in 2006 and later took a job as a parole officer based in McKeesport. That’s when the U.S. Attorney alleges that Dschuhan threatened to send a parolee back to prison if he didn’t burglarize drug dealers’ homes and give him the cash.
But Stewart says that’s not how it happened. That it was the parolee who came to Dschuhan with the idea.
“He thought it was easy money. This guy comes up with an idea. I’ve got credit card debt I can clear it up,” said Stewart.
He says Dschuhan will only admit that he offered to be the man’s alibi if he got caught.
According to court papers, Dschuhan also allegedly threatened to shoot the parolee in the head if he was being set up, even showed him a gun, but Stewart says it wasn’t an actual death threat.
“Our position is that it’s said in such a way that it’s a colloquialism. You might as well arrest me, how many times have I told my children, ‘If you don’t take out the garbage I’m going to kill you!'”
Dschuhan retired as a parole officer a couple of days after he was arrested.
Based on what his attorney says he’s agreed to plead guilty to, he could face up to 20 years in prison.