PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A judge said he would not step down in the re-trial of a convicted arsonist Wednesday. Friday, the district attorney appealed that decision.
Allegheny County District Attorney Steve Zappala is appealing a judge’s decision to remain on a case after the DA filed a motion raising questions about the judge’s objectivity.
Earlier this week, Allegheny County Judge Joseph Williams rejected arguments that he should no longer preside over the case of Gregory Brown, who was convicted in 1996 of setting the fire that killed three City of Pittsburgh firefighters. Brown was granted a new trial when Judge Williams ruled prosecutors should have disclosed key prosecution witnesses got reward money.
Zappala cited a previous business relationship Williams had when he was a defense attorney, which Zappala says may have clouded the judge’s view of federal arson investigators. Federal ATF agents are a part of the Bricelyn Street fire case.
During a hearing on the issue, the judge said he’s been fair and will continue to be fair. Brown’s defense attorneys agree, saying the motion appeared to be filed because prosecutors were unhappy the judge ruled Brown should have a new trial.
Zappala has appealed William’s decision to remain on the case to Superior Court.