An East Pittsburgh police officer charged with homicide in the June killing of an unarmed teenager has filed a motion seeking to have the case heard by a jury from outside of Allegheny County, court records show.
Michael Rosfeld, 30, and his attorney, Patrick Thomassey, filed the motion Friday seeking a change of venue or a change of venire. The former would move the trial to a different county, while the latter would mean a jury would be brought in from a different county.
The trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 26.
Rosfeld shot and killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose II as he ran from a felony traffic stop in East Pittsburgh on June 19. Rosfeld shot him three times: in the arm, in the back and in the head.
Rose was a passenger in a car suspected in a drive-by shooting minutes before the killing in nearby North Braddock. Police say the car had gunshot damage to its rear window, likely from the earlier shooting. As Rosfeld ordered the driver to the ground, Rose and backseat passenger Zaijuan Hester fled on foot, authorities said.
Witnesses told police that Rose briefly showed his empty hands before he ran from the car. District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. filed one homicide charge against Rosfeld a week later.
Thomassey had previously stated his intention to file a motion for a change of venire or venue because the killing touched off weeks of protests across the county.
“There’s been so much consternation in this city,” Thomassey said in September. “We’ve had tie-ups of traffic, there have been people attacked, people pulled out of cars — it’s gotten a lot of attention. I mean, they picketed a judge’s home, and people in this county, I think, would be afraid to sit on a jury in this case.”
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.