DA seeks death penalty in Penn Hills cop shooting
The Allegheny County District Attorney will seek the death penalty against the man accused of killing Penn Hills police officer Michael Crawshaw last month.
Stephen A. Zappala Jr. filed notice of his intent this morning.
Ronald Robinson, 32, of Homewood, is charged with shooting Officer Crawshaw as he responded to a call for a man with a gun at a home on Johnston Road. Mr. Robinson also is accused of killing Danyal Morton, who owed the defendant $500 from a drug deal.
According to the notice filed today, prosecutors listed a number of aggravating circumstances to support their request for the death penalty. Those include: that the victim was a police officer killed in the line of duty; that the killing occurred during the commission of another felony and that two people were killed. The notice also lists an aggravating circumstance specifically related to the slaying of Mr. Morton -- that he was involved or in competition with Mr. Robinson in the sale or distribution of drugs, and that his death was related to that association.
Investigators say Officer Crawshaw was sitting in his patrol car in the 200 block of Johnston Road awaiting backup on the evening of Dec. 6 when Mr. Robinson shot him with an assault rifle as he fled the scene. Officers later found Mr. Morton's body in a second-floor bathroom at the home in question.
Mr. Robinson was arrested early the next morning. He had been out on parole at the time of the shootings.