Local

Not Guilty Verdict Reached In Clairton Officer Shooting Trial

(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

Paul Martino Paul Martino
Paul joined KDKA-TV in 1984 as a general assignment reporter and later...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – On the second full day of deliberations, the jury reached a verdict in the trial of two men accused of shooting a Clairton Police officer.

Marcus Andrejco was found to be not guilty and Emilio Rivera was found guilty on some charges, but none related to the shooting of Officer James Kuzak.

The verdict means that no one has been held responsible for the shooting that left Officer Kuzak paralyzed and using a wheelchair.

Andrejco confessed to taking part in the robbery that led to the shooting of Officer Kuzak and jurors even heard a recording of the confession.

But Andrejco’s attorney Ralph Karsh cast serious doubts on that confession.

“He’s an 18-year-old kid with two detectives in an eight-by-ten room, no windows, isolated from society, isolated from his parents,” he said. “Whether he asked for a lawyer or not I don’t know, but what I do know is that there was enormous pressure put upon him.”

While Officer Kuzak and his family left the courthouse weeping, Andrejco’s mother was elated.

“I told you so,” Jaime Andrejco said. “Marcus was with me, I knew he was with me, there was never no question in my mind and I’m glad that the truth prevailed and Marcus is coming home.”

Rivera was found not guilty of shooting Officer Kuzak, but the jury did find that he carried out a home invasion and robbery that led to the shooting – a mixed verdict to say the least.

“He’s very disappointed, only because he was there but he wasn’t there and he was guilty but he wasn’t guilty and nobody really knows who shot the police officer and that’s the saddest thing of all,” Paul Gettleman, Rivera’s attorney, said.

The jury had 150 pieces of evidence to evaluate as went go through deliberations and needed to make a decision on a list of 25 charges.

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