PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The hearing for three men charged with killing another man and his 7-year-old son in Swissvale was abruptly continued Friday when a witness suffered a medical emergency.
Donavan Wilson, Brandon Barnett and Jacqua Barnett are all charged with murder. Police say they killed Walter Stewart and his 7-year-old son at a home on Columbia Avenue the day after Christmas last year.
At the time, witnesses told police that Wilson routinely sells drugs out of the house and that Stewart and his son showed up there that day. They went on to say that Wilson was overheard saying he did not “sell” outside of the house, then a scuffle was heard, followed by gunshots.
Just as a hearing was about to begin Friday morning, one of the witnesses suffered a heart attack. Paramedics took him out of the building on a gurney.
Attorney Ralph Karsh represents Brandon Barnett, who was wounded in the incident.
“Nobody knows what happened in this house, but what I know is that my client was shot five times. There’s no eyewitness. There’s no evidence that has him doing anything wrong,” Karsh said. “It’s an unfortunate circumstance today where they tell us a witness has had severe medical problems this morning before he was to take the stand.”
Attorney Phil DiLucente represents Brandon’s brother, Jacqua Barnett. He says his client wasn’t even there at the time of the shootings and that he only went to the house after his brother was wounded.
“My client is very, very disappointed. As I said from the beginning, the only evidence that the Commonwealth to date has given or shared is that he drove his brother to UPMC in Monroeville and he dropped him off,” DiLucente said.
Police have not said why Stewart went to the home that day with his son. His family says he has no criminal history and worked two jobs.
The case will resume in two weeks.