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Judge Presiding Over East Pittsburgh Police Officer's Case Recuses Self

Allegheny County District Attorney
East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld.

The judge overseeing East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld’s case has recused himself.

Judge Anthony Mariani will no longer preside over the case. Judge Alexander Bicket has been reassigned the case, confirmed staffers in both judges' offices.

Rosfeld is charged with shooting and killing 17-year-old Antwon Rose in June.

At a pre-trial conference earlier this month, Rosfeld’s attorney Patrick Thomassey requested Mariani recuse himself from the case. Thomassey pointed out that Mariani had commented on the case on the local cable news show “Night Talk,” and questioned the judge's ability to remain impartial.

Mariani appeared on the show just days after the shooting, and before being assigned to Rosfeld’s case. According to Thomassey, Mariani said Rosfeld may have shot Rose out of frustration and that maybe the officer didn’t receive adequate training.

On Monday, prosecutors in the case said they were seeking a gag order requesting to bar lawyers, potential witnesses and others from talking about the case publicly.

Sarah Kovash previously worked as a web producer for KDKA-TV, as a freelance journalist for the Valley News Dispatch covering local government throughout the Alle-Kiski Valley and at NPR station KPBS in San Diego.
An-Li Herring is a reporter for 90.5 WESA, with a focus on economic policy, local government, and the courts. She previously interned for NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg in Washington, DC, and the investigations team at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A Pittsburgh native, An-Li completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan and earned her law degree from Stanford University. She can be reached at aherring@wesa.fm.