PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Former Pittsburgh mayoral candidate A.J. Richardson is back in court on charges he made more than a hundred 911 calls, costing the city thousands of dollars.
A jury hearing the felony conspiracy trial will begin listening to 911 calls Thursday.
They will hear dialogue similar to calls played during Richardson’s preliminary hearing:
Caller: “My wife is being beat up by her brother.”
Operator: “How did the brother get in your house?”
Caller: “He just wanted to stay for a while.”
Operator: “So he lives there? Are there any guns or weapons involved?”
Caller: “He came into my house and he’s threatening my…”
Operator: “Listen, are there any guns or weapons involved in this fight? Yes. What kind of weapon?”
Caller: “A gun.”
Operator: “A what?”
Caller: “A gun.”
Operator: “Sir, what kind of a gun?”
Caller: “A MAC 11.”
That’s just one of 128 false 911 calls city police say came from the home where Richardson, his wife Felicia and their three teenaged sons lived.
The prosecution says valuable manpower was lost on crank calls while serious crime went on without adequate response. A prosecutor told the jury that the calls made over 22 days cost the taxpayers $24,000.
When police arrived at the house to determine whether anyone was truly in danger, they were met with what they called “defiance and disrespect.”
They are also expected to see video from Richardson’s own cell phone of his encounter with police when they arrived for such a call.
The defense though says there’s no proof his wife, Felicia, was part of conspiracy. Richardson’s lawyer says there’s no proof his client ever made the calls or conspired to have them made, and that he is being held responsible for something his children did.
But police argue the calls stopped when Richardson was jailed and only resumed when he was released.