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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The dates for the jury selection and trial of former East Pittsburgh Police officer Michael Rosfeld, who is accused of shooting a teenager last summer, was postponed at a pre-trial motions hearing Thursday morning.
The trial is now set to begin on March 19 with jury selection scheduled to take place on March 12.
Rosfeld did not appear at the hearing.
The reason for the delay is because earlier this week the state Supreme Court ordered the trial jury be selected from Dauphin County.
Defense attorney Phil DiLucente, who’s not connected to the Rosfeld case, knows what it’s like to pick a jury in high-profile cases.
“A lot of times, they’ll raise their hands and say, ‘You know, I saw you on TV for something, but I didn’t exactly remember the case but I think I might have,’ and you say, ‘Can you be fair and impartial’?” DiLucente said.
Rosfeld was charged with criminal homicide last summer in connection with the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose on June 19, 2018.
The shooting set off a series of protests that went on for weeks. There’s now a gag order in the case.
A judge ruled last week that the jury for the Rose shooting trial is to be selected from outside Allegheny County.
The “Order of Court Changing Venire” was filed last Monday, Jan. 14.
The defense attorney and the prosecutor also argued at Thursday’s hearing about what evidence will be admitted at trial.
The prosecution doesn’t want any evidence introduced that Rosfeld didn’t know about at the time of the shooting. But the defense wants to get in information about a gun that was under Rose’s seat and the magazine that was in his pocket.
Plus, the fact that he was carrying several hundred dollars in his pocket.
“The important thing to keep into consideration is the standard that they use is, is it more prejudicial than probative?” DiLucente said
The judge did not rule on any of the pre-trial motions at Thursday’s hearing. He says he will do that closer to trial.
Late Thursday, an attorney for the Rose family, Fred Rabner, said Antwon’s family remains confident in the fairness of the criminal justice system and continues to support the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office.