PITTSBURGH (AP) – A man charged with killing a western Pennsylvania police officer in a wrong-way crash while intoxicated is asking a judge to reduce the charges and either move his trial or bring in a jury from another area due to pretrial publicity.
Thirty-two-year-old Clair Fink III of Ligonier is charged in Westmoreland County with third-degree murder, vehicular homicide while intoxicated and other crimes in the May 5 crash on Route 30 that killed Ligonier Township Lt. Eric Eslary.
Defense attorney John Sweeney maintained Friday that prosecutors chose to file the third-degree murder charge only because the victim was a police officer. He also said publicity about the case couldn’t help but taint a potential jury pool, so the court should either move the trial or bring in an outside panel.
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