PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Jury selection was expected to resume today in the case of an armored car guard who is accused of killing his work partner and stealing more than $2 million.
However, the trial for Ken Konias will now be a non-jury trial.
Judge David Cashman originally scheduled opening statements to begin Tuesday, expecting jury selection to wrap up by then.
Instead, Kenneth Konias decided to let his case be heard by the judge alone.
His defense has been that the reason he shot his armored vehicle partner, Michael Haines, is because the two got into an argument inside the vehicle, and that Haines went for Konias’ gun and Konias fired in self-defense.
Prosecutors are skeptical a gunshot to the back of the head can be justified as self-defense.
Konias is also accused of running off with $2.3 million, and ended up staying at a home in Pompano Beach, Fla.
Defense attorney Phil DiLucente, who is not connected to the Konias case, says one advantage for the defense of opting for a non-jury trial is eliminating juror emotion.
“A lot of the facts of this case might persuade a jury to be somewhat emotional, so I think it’s better to stick to the facts, stick to the law, and have a learned professional decide both of those,” said DiLucente.
While in the Allegheny County Jail, police got a search warrant to examine money bags and a dollar sign tattooed on Konias’ hands.
The defense sees that as signs of mental problems, but the prosecution sees it as lack of remorse.
Testimony is now expected to begin Thursday in the case.