Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer Obtains Acquittal in Washington County Murder Trial
Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney Frank Walker of FrankWalkerLaw obtains a NOT GUILTY verdict in the highly publicized Washington County Shop and Save Road Rage Murder Case
Attorney Walker's client, decorated veteran, three time purple heart recipient and self-defense instructor, Brandon Thomas, was charged with First Degree Murder, Second Degree Murder, Third Degree Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter and Involuntary Manslaughter following an incident alleged to have occurred on October 1, 2012.
During that incident, Mr. Thomas was driving down Jefferson Avenue in Washington Pennsylvania when he encountered Vaughn Simonelli, who was driving in a grey sedan. Vaughn used his car to hit Mr. Thomas' car, got out of his car to curse and threaten Mr. Thomas, who remained in his car.
Mr. Thomas fled from the scene to avoid Vaughn, only to be followed to a local shopping mall. While Mr. Thomas was lawfully parked at the shopping mall with a car on each side and a car in front of him, Vaughn drives his grey sedan and unlawfully parks behind Mr. Thomas' car to block him into a corner.
Mr. Thomas gets out of his car, is attacked by Vaughn then pulls a gun to point at Vaughn in an attempt to stave off the attack. An argument ensues, then Mr. Thomas holsters his gun, retreats to the safety of his car and closes the door.
While in his car, Mr. Thomas attempts to dial 911 when he is viciously attacked by Vaughn when he throws several punches at Mr. Thomas through the driver’s side window. While under attack, Mr. Thomas fires two shots at Vaughn in an act of self-defense, while in the confines of his car.
A jury of 12 people heard the evidence and acquitted Mr. Thomas of all homicide charges finding him guilty of a lesser crime of possessing drug paraphernalia.
When asked about the verdict, Attorney Walker Responded, "Mr. Thomas is an exceptional young man and I'm thankful for the opportunity to have been entrusted with his defense. The jury heard the evidence, correctly applied the law of self-defense and the Castle Doctrine and came to the logical result."
Mr. Thomas was not granted bail after arrested for these charges and was again denied bail after his preliminary hearing. Mr. Thomas was released from jail within an hour of the verdict after serving 18 months in jail awaiting trial.