Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Article excerpt


DA's office to appeal court decision on murder conviction

The Allegheny County district attorney's office will appeal a Superior Court decision remanding the sentencing of a man convicted of third-degree murder back to the trial court.

Stevenson Rose, 49, was found guilty of third-degree murder for the 2007 death of Mary Mitchell. She had been brutally beaten in July 1993 in Larimer Park and lived for more than 14 years in a vegetative state.

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Kathleen Durkin sentenced Rose to 20 to 40 years in prison -- the maximum penalty possible.

But defense attorneys argued that their client should be sentenced under the law at the time of the underlying assault, which was 10 to 20 years in 1993.

The Superior Court agreed and issued a 25-page opinion Monday remanding the case back to Judge Durkin.

The prosecution has 30 days to file a petition asking the state Supreme Court to take the case.

Man found shot to death in Homewood ruled homicide

Local authorities said Tuesday that they are investigating the death of a man found shot in his Homewood house Monday as a homicide.

Virgil Bookert, 50, drove his mother to work most days and she expected him to pick her up Monday afternoon, police said. When he didn't arrive and she couldn't get inside their Stoneville Street home, his brother forced his way inside, Major Crimes Lt. Daniel Herrmann said.

Mr. Bookert's brother found him lying on the floor with gunshot wounds to the head and chest, according to police and the Allegheny County medical examiner's office. His brother called for help about 3:45 p.m.

Police have not released any information about a suspect or motive.


RAD approves $91.2M budget to fund various agencies

The Allegheny Regional Asset District approved a $91.2 million budget Tuesday, its first to break the $90 million mark.

RAD receives half of Allegheny County's 1 percent sales tax and distributes funds to groups, parks and other amenities.

Funding grants to 91 agencies, the district's 20th budget approved Tuesday is 1.7 percent larger than last year's. The district saw $87 million in sales tax revenue and tapped its grant stabilization reserve fund for an additional $4. …

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