PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One day after charges against her client were unsealed, Christian Bey’s attorney said he’ll plead not guilty in the shooting death of a Pittsburgh police officer.
Attorney Carmen Robinson filed a motion to prevent the death penalty on Wednesday and spoke exclusively with KDKA investigator Andy Sheehan.
“I argue that this is political,” Robinson said. “That race is involved, that this was arbitrary and it was not well-thought-out.”
Investigators say Bey is responsible for the fatal shooting of off-duty Pittsburgh Police Officer Calvin Hall in Homewood back on July 14 during a block party on Monticello Street.
Officer Hall was rushed to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital but died on a few days later on July 17.
In seeking the death penalty, the government will not only need to prove that Bey shot and killed Hall but also prove that Bey knew Hall was a police officer.
And Robinson said there’s been no representation that the off-duty Hall identified himself as a police officer and was acting in that capacity.
She said Hall was one of the dozens of attendees at a block party who was shot after an argument with others there.
And she’s filed another motion to find out the officer’s blood-alcohol level at the time.
“Since the district attorney put the victim’s character and reputation into this case in terms of acting under the color of law, we are entitled to toxicology to see if was using good judgment,” Robinson said.
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Tuesday’s unsealed charging document says Hall left the party after arguing with four women there, including Bey’s mother.
But it the document says when Hall returned to apologize, a man fitting Bey’s description shot him multiple times in the back.
The affidavit says Bey can be seen on nearby surveillance video fleeing from the scene, and police recovered the suspected murder weapon — a .45 caliber handgun that matches the shell casings.
Still, Robinson — a former police detective herself — said Bey will plead not guilty.
Sheehan: “You don’t believe he was the shooter?”
Robinson: “I don’t believe he was the shooter, but I am not at this point going to put facts into the case.”
Bey is charged with criminal homicide, carrying a firearm without a license, possession of a firearm without a license and persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms.