The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Breaking News

Local News

September 5, 2013

1st of 2 big trials set next week

---- — Next week, the first of two murder trials is set to begin to mete out justice for the Dec. 30, 2011, killing of William “Billy” Basilone Jr. outside his Farrell bar.

After a jury is seated in the trial of Joshua Stewart, the 20-year-old man authorities allege was the gunman that night as the now-19-year-old Devine Campbell stood by his side, they won’t be privy to evidence that the pair are alleged to be involved in a spree of other, similar crimes during those waning weeks of 2011.

Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher J. St. denied a motion to introduce those other crimes as part of the case against the men during their separate trials in the Basilone case.

“We are of course disappointed in the court’s ruling denying our motion, Mercer County District Attorney Robert G. Kochems wrote in an email seeking comment on the decision.

Prosecutors “are not currently planning on appealing the denial,” Kochems wrote.

Stewart’s attorney, James Goodwin Jr., declined comment on the decision, which the judge wrote he arrived at after “careful consideration.”

J. Jarrett K. Whalen, who will defend Campbell in a separate trial to be held after Stewart’s concludes, said the judge arrived at the “right decision.”

“We had to make a chart to understand it,” Whalen said of the prosecutions theory that several crimes were linked to the men.

The decision means the men will each get a “fair trial,” Whalen said.

“It makes the murder about the murder,” he said.

Authorities contend Stewart and Campbell also committed four armed robberies in Farrell and two robberies in Sharon between Nov. 29 and Dec. 30, 2011.

They’ve been in Mercer County Jail since January 2012.

The most serious of the charges the pair face are first- and second-degree murder stemming from the Basilone killing.

Text Only
Local News
  • Doss: Public has right to know

    A major part of Farrell council’s work session Monday was spent deciding whether or not to inform the audience about an unofficial police proposal from the City of Sharon.

    July 30, 2014

  • Budget falling short despite tax hike

    Farrell residents may have seen an income tax increase this year, but the city isn’t seeing the extra dollars City Manager Michael Ceci budgeted for.

    July 30, 2014

  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo