HILL DISTRICT (KDKA) — Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala will have a challenger for the first time in five terms.READ MORE: 40th Street Bridge Lane Restrictions Go Into Place This Week
Turahn Jenkins resigned from his position as the chief deputy director in the Allegheny County Public Defender’s Office on Monday afternoon.
Several hours later, Jenkins stood in front of a crowd of an estimated 200 to 300 supporters at Freedom Corner in the Hill District and announced he would challenge longtime District Attorney Stephen Zappala in the Democratic primary next May.
Jenkins told the crowd that with Zappala overseeing the prosecutor’s office, the system has broken down.READ MORE: Dozens Of Women Gather On North Shore For 'Black Maternal Health Week' Photoshoot
“The reason why I know it [is broken] is because I’ve worked in the system and I’ve seen it,” Jenkins said. “That’s why I’m standing here today, asking you to vote for me as your next District Attorney of Allegheny County.”
The family of Codi Joyce, whose nickname was Geno, was in the crowd of supporters. Joyce died three years ago and his relatives are angry because even though his death was ruled a homicide, no charges were ever brought against a group of several men Joyce was partying with the night he died.
“We know how he died. He was murdered and they’re ignoring this case,” Steven Wisnieski, the victim’s uncle, said, “so we’re looking for the new candidate to come in and we’re going to support him 150 percent.”
“His larynx was crushed. He got beat in the head. He was bruised all over. Even at the funeral home, they had to cover him up with so much make-up,” Paulette Joyce, the victim’s mother, said. “I mean, even people were telling me they could see the bruises still when they seen him at the funeral home and everything.”MORE NEWS: Local Providers Committed To Distributing Johnson And Johnson Vaccine Despite Reports Of Shortages
Zappala offered a response about the Joyce case. He says the investigation remains open and he has told the family on multiple occasions that he cannot file charges based on the evidence currently available.