PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The attorneys for Cheron Shelton, the suspect in the Wilkinsburg mass shooting case, say they were contacted by a witness who claimed the DA’s office paid them to fabricate claims against Shelton.
KDKA’s Amy Wadas was in court for day five of Cheron Shelton’s homicide trial. Shelton’s attorneys say a witness allegedly told them he was being paid by the district attorney’s office to make up claims against Shelton.
NEW: Cheron Shelton’s attorneys told court they were contacted by a witness on day one of Wilkinsburg mass shooting trial claiming DA’s office paid witness, pressuring him to fabricate claims against Shelton. A motion was filed to delay or have mistrial, which was denied.@KDKA
— Amy Wadas (@AmyWadas) February 7, 2020
“They made their bed and should be forced to lie in it,” said defense attorney Randall McKinney.
That’s what McKinney told the judge on Friday in response to the allegations this witness made. McKinney asked the judge for a mistrial or even a delay and a hearing on Monday, but the judge denied those requests. The judge said he will not allow this witness to blow up, delay or end the trial.
The jury wasn’t part of this motion — they were sent home around 1:30 in the afternoon Friday. The defense wanted the motion made public, but the judge sealed it until the end of the trial.
The commonwealth said it decided not to use the witness. Prosecutors said the witness was not telling the truth.
They went on to say there was one incident where the witness contacted an assistant DA and allegedly attempted to threaten her.
Shelton is charged with killing five people and an unborn baby at a backyard barbecue in Wilkinsburg almost four years ago.
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Defense attorney Blaine Jones, who’s not involved with this case, provided analysis on what happened in court Friday.
“First and foremost it’s an explosive allegation,” said Jones. “With respect to this person coming forward and making those allegations, the lawyers have an obligation to bring that to the court’s attention because they would be negligent in their responsibilities to their clients if they did not do that.”
The jury will be back in the courtroom Monday at 9 a.m.