By Amanda Klein | August 22, 2018
The East Pittsburgh police officer accused in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, waived his right to appear at his preliminary arraignment Wednesday.
This is the second time Michael Rosfeld, 30, of Verona, has waived his right to appear in court. On July 24, four days before he was scheduled to appear for his July 27 preliminary hearing, Rosfeld’s attorney Patrick Thomassey filed a waiver with the court.
According to reporting by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mr. Thomassey signaled that Rosfeld will claim the shooting was justified saying in an interview, “You can’t raise an affirmative defense at a preliminary hearing, and justification is an affirmative defense,”
Police allege in a criminal complaint that on June 19 Rosfeld shot Mr. Rose in the back as he was running from a car. However, video released by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office shows that the car that Mr. Rose fled from was involved in a drive shooting minutes before it was stopped by Rosfeld.
The complaint alleges that an empty clip was found on Mr. Rose after he was shot. At a news conference, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. said that no weapon was found on Mr. Rose and he stressed that Rosfeld was not justified in shooting him.
“Antwon Rose didn’t do anything in North Braddock other than be in that vehicle. And you have to possess a weapon. Neither of those young men were in possession of a weapon. You have to otherwise indicate that somebody is in a position to take human life and that is not the case here,” Mr. Zappala said.
Rosfeld’s next scheduled court date is Sept. 7 at 9 a.m. before Common Pleas Court Judge Anthony Mariani, who was assigned the case earlier this month. It is expected that a tentative trial date will be set at the hearing.
Rosfeld was released on an unsecured $250,000 bond which was later changed to house arrest after prosecutors objected.
Amanda Klein can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org