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Jury To Resume Deliberations In Clairton Police Shooting Trial

(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

Harold Hayes Harold Hayes
Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The jury stopped deliberating for the day in the trial of two men accused of shooting Clairton Police Officer James Kuzak.

They called it a day after hearing three closing arguments and receiving instructions from the judge.

Kuzak listened to closing arguments from his wheelchair as Ralph Karsh, who represents Marcus Andrejco, played an alleged confession tape of co-defendant Emilio Rivera, and pointed to Rivera’s alleged involvement.

Referring to the many suspects identified by the female sexual assault victim who lived in the house where the home invasion occurred, Karsh said, “If we found three more guys, she’d say three more guys were upstairs with her.”

He blamed his own client’s taped confession on coercion by police.

Karsh pointed to Officer Kuzak and said, “He deserves sympathy, but don’t let your sympathy for him cloud your judgment in this case. The Commonwealth has failed to prove their case and police would do anything they could to get a conviction.”

The defense began presenting its case late last week.

Andrejco’s mother testified that he was at her home in Rankin the night Kuzak was shot.

Earlier in the trial, jurors heard audio recordings where both Andrejco and co-defendant Rivera implicated themselves.

However, Rivera’s lawyer questions the credibility of the police informant who got those jailhouse recordings.

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