Briefs: Va. man faces 35 years for luring teenage girl |

Briefs: Va. man faces 35 years for luring teenage girl

A former Virginia man who lured a 13-year-old Crafton Heights girl over the Internet to his home faces sentencing today on two counts of sexually exploiting a minor.

Scott W. Tyree, 39, of Herndon, will be sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge William L. Standish for the incident that began Jan. 1, 2002, when the girl left her home to meet him.

A tip from a person in Florida who corresponded online with Tyree led to the girl’s rescue Jan. 4 by FBI agents and Herndon police at Tyree’s home. The girl was found shackled to a bed.

Tyree faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a total possible term of 35 years in prison and a $500,000 fine or both.

Butler County man charged with homicide

A Butler County man has been charged with driving while intoxicated and homicide by vehicle for a fatal accident that occurred in January in Richland, Allegheny County Police Lt. John Brennan said Thursday.

Richard Pitkins, 31, of Valencia, also is charged with involuntary manslaughter, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and reckless driving in the crash that occurred Jan. 25 at the intersection of Bakerstown and Merdian roads, Brennan said.

The victim, Daniel McDeavitt, 72, also of Valencia, was making a turn when his vehicle was broadsided by a sport utility vehicle driven by Pitkins, Brennan said. Pitkins was arraigned and released on his own recognizance to await a coroner’s hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 6.

Jeannette man injured in shoot-out near bar

A Westmoreland County man was injured in a shoot-out with another man early Thursday outside a Larimer bar, Pittsburgh police said.

The 28-year-old Jeannette man, whom police did not identify, was shot in the arm during the 3:15 a.m. gunfight outside the Traveller’s Club on Hamilton Avenue. He was in good condition at UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Oakland, police said.

The wounded man got into a fight inside the bar with his assailant, police said. Outside, the two began shooting at each other. Officers responding to 911 calls followed a blood trail up Putnam Street, where they found the Jeannette man and a gun.

Police are trying to identify the other shooter.

Former area teacher sentenced to 10 years

A former Avonworth Elementary School teacher was sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting two boys at a private school in Virginia.

Joseph R. Doherty, 42, pleaded guilty to two counts of forcible sodomy and one of aggravated sexual battery. He will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least 81/2 years, said Detective Jim Hardy of the Child Services division of the Fairfax County Police.

Doherty was arrested in Crafton in November. He resigned his Avonworth teaching position in 1998 after a district justice dismissed criminal charges arising from a videotape showing him wrestling with a 12-year-old boy in his classroom. Since leaving Avonworth, Doherty has been a teacher and has been involved in youth clubs and coaching at private schools in Prince George’s County, Md., Springfield, Va., and Washington, D.C.

LawrencevilleAuthorities seize drugs, shotgun from home

Pittsburgh narcotics detectives and state parole agents seized a large stash of drugs and a sawed-off shotgun from a Lawrenceville home, police said Thursday.

Investigators charged Michelle Reid, 41, and Juan Thomas, 42, with a variety of drug and gun offenses in connection with the bust that occurred Wednesday afternoon.

Agents looking for Thomas on charges he violated his parole learned there may have been drugs in the house and called city police. They found bags of suspected crack cocaine, marijuana, heroin and powdered cocaine, as well as the shotgun and a rifle inside the home, police said. The guns will be tested to determine if they were used in any crimes.

GreenfieldMan arrested following an undercover sting

A Greenfield man was arrested this week on charges of selling drugs and weapons to an undercover city police officer, Pittsburgh police Lt. Michael Sippey said.

Stephen Moltz, 58, of Delevan Street, is accused of selling heroin, OxyContin, two handguns, a rifle and a shotgun to the detective in a one-week period, Sippey said.

The investigation is part of the federally funded Weed and Seed program to weed out drug dealers in targeted neighborhoods.

Detectives will confer with federal investigators to determine if they want to pursue federal charges in the case.

South ParkPolice seeking owner of dead pit bull terrier

Police are trying to find the owner of a pit bull terrier that was found shot to death along the Montour Trail in South Park.

South Park police deputy Chief Dennis McDonough said officers received a call at 10:50 p.m. Tuesday from an anonymous caller who said she heard a single gunshot and the sound of a dog crying near the trail. Officers found the dead animal.

South Park police and the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society posted fliers alerting people to the incident and asking for anyone who is missing a female pit bull to call the South Park police at (412) 831-7000.

PlumMan pleads guilty to producing child porn

A Plum man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to charges of producing child pornography.

Matthew Alan Mancuso, 44, of Shearer Road, entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry, who set sentencing for Jan. 7.

Prosecutors said Mancuso coerced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct to produce photos. The child was either 6 or 7 years old when the photographs were taken.

The photographs, stored on a computer disk, were uncovered after a federal search warrant was executed at Mancuso’s home in May.

Allegheny CountyCity NAACP accepting pastor nominations

The Pittsburgh branch of the NAACP is accepting nominations for its first “Pastor of the Year” award.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will recognize a minister for outstanding service to the community at the branch’s inaugural “Freedom Sunday” on Oct. 12 at the Bethel AME Church on Webster Avenue in the Hill District.

The Rev. Dr. Floyd H. Flake, of Greater Allen AME Cathedral in New York City, will deliver the keynote address and present the award.

Pittsburgh woman arrested in drug bust

A Pittsburgh woman was arrested Thursday after she accepted delivery of some $400,000 worth of cocaine that was in a package delivered by a detective posing as a parcel delivery driver, Allegheny County Police Lt. Harold Cline said.

Jamie Farris, 40, of Fairywood Road, Broadhead Manor, was arrested on charges of possession and possession with intent to deliver cocaine after she signed for and accepted the package delivered by county detective Joseph Sotak, police said.

Employees of the delivery service in North Fayette became suspicious of the package when it arrived yesterday and called police, Cline said. The package, containing about two kilograms of powdered cocaine, was mailed from Los Angeles to an automotive service that listed the Fairywood home as its address, Cline said.

Police are trying to determine if Farris was acting as an intermediary for someone else, Cline said.

Voter registration deadline Oct. 6

Allegheny County residents who want to vote in the Nov. 4 election must be registered by Oct. 6.

Voters who have moved or changed their names or party affiliations also must notify the county Elections Division by that date.

Registration is being handled in Room 609, County Office Building, Forbes Avenue and Ross Street, Downtown, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

An application to vote or to change a voter’s name, residence or party affiliation also may be made using the registration-by-mail form. Forms can be downloaded by visiting the Allegheny County Web site at and clicking on Elections and How and Where to Register to Vote. The forms are available at Carnegie libraries, many municipal buildings and some U.S. post offices. Registration-by-mail forms must be postmarked by Oct. 6.

Kennedy assassination symposium scheduled

The Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne University will hold a symposium in November marking the 40th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The program, titled “Solving the Great American Murder Mystery: A National Symposium on the 40th Anniversary of the JFK Assassination,” will run from Nov. 20-23 at Duquesne University, Uptown.

The event will feature some of the top investigators and researchers involved with the case, including former Parkland Hospital neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Grossman, who viewed the president’s head wounds but was never called to testify before the Warren Commission, which investigated Kennedy’s death.

Also scheduled to speak is U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, a Republican from Philadelphia, who as a junior counsel to the Warren Commission in 1964 originated the “single-bullet theory” about how Kennedy was shot.

Beaver CountyW.Va. man arrested after high-speed chase

A West Virginia man who led police on a chase that began in Weirton and ended in Beaver County earlier in the day was arrested without incident in his father’s home Thursday afternoon, Hancock County Sheriff’s deputies said.

John Paul Jones, 27, of Weirton, is charged with a variety of crimes that began shortly after 2:30 a.m. when deputies spotted him driving through a stop sign and fleeing at a high rate of speed when he spotted the officer’s vehicle.

Jones used his vehicle to ram the deputy’s car before fleeing into Pennsylvania, where he was chased by state police as well as officers from Allegheny, Washington and Beaver counties. The chase ended when he stopped on a dead-end road in Hanover and fled into the woods.

Washington CountyJury indicts man for bootlegging music

A former Washington County man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of trafficking in “bootlegged” recordings of live musical performances.

Jeffrey S. Smittle, 43, formerly of Canonsburg, now of Ceresco, Mich., was named in the indictment returned Wednesday and announced yesterday.

The 13-count indictment said Smittle sold unauthorized recordings of performances by Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and KISS.

The investigation was conducted by the High Technology Crimes Task Force, comprised of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Secret Service, FBI, Criminal Investigations Branch of the Internal Revenue Service, and Allegheny County, Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania state police. The Canonsburg police and the Recording Industry Association of American assisted in the investigation.

PittsburghArrest follows fatal drug-related shooting

A Stanton Heights man was arrested Thursday on charges of shooting another man to death during a drug deal in Troy Hill, city police said.

Darrell “Slice” Cobbs, 20, of Brintell Street, was charged with criminal homicide in the Aug. 25 slaying of James Tass Jr., 19, of Troy Hill.

Tass was shot inside his home in the 2100 block of Straubs Lane. Witnesses told police Tass was in the process of buying drugs when the dealer shot him and fled, police said.

Allegheny CountySewage rate hike vote postponed

An expected vote on a sewage rate hike of at least 25 percent was postponed Thursday by the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority.

Alcosan officials announced the expected increase last month for the 900,000 people it serves because of a loss of $5.5 million in state funds and a $3 billion federally mandated revamp of the area’s combined sewer and storm system.

Spokeswoman Nancy Barylak said Alcosan officials delayed a decision in hopes of getting at least some of the state funds restored. The board may vote on increasing rates at its Oct. 23 meeting. An approved increase would go into effect 60 days after the authority notifies officials in Pittsburgh and the 82 other municipalities it serves.

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