MERCER -- In his opening statement, defense Attorney Steve Colafella said Sharon police jumped the gun in making arrests connected to the shooting death of a Farrell man in June 2018.
Testimony continued today in the trial of Sean Jose Rain Jr., 25, who is accused of first degree murder in connection with the June 23, 2018, death of Trivoune Craig, 30. Mercer County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Robert G. Yeatts is presiding over the case.
“Police made arrests far too quickly, the next day, with the limited information they had,” Colafella said after testimony Wednesday.
Prosecutors granted immunity to Daniel Aaron Wiley, of Farrell, who was originally charged with homicide in the case. Wiley testified Wednesday.
Wiley said he spent more than 11 months in jail before charges were dropped last month.
He said he was not related to Craig, but they were close enough to consider each other as blood relatives anyway.
“(Craig) was just married, and he was getting ready to have the reception,” Wiley testified.
Wiley said on the night of Craig’s death, the two men went out to a couple bars, ending up at T & T Bar and Grille, 1101 Roemer Blvd., Farrell.
After the bar closed, he said Craig gave him a ride home about a block and a half away and he went to sleep.
Wiley’s stepson also testified, confirming that Wiley came in that night around 2:30 a.m. and went to bed.
Wiley testified that there were no problems that night at the bar between Rain and Craig, and that he thought the two men were friends.
Police were called at 2:52 a.m. June 23 to the sub-100 block of South Myers Avenue and found Craig’s body in his car, which was running and in the middle of the street.
Mercer County Coroner John A. Libonati pronounced Craig dead at the scene later that morning from gunshot wounds to the face.
Sharon police Captain Travis Martwinski testified Wednesday to Craig’s movements earlier in the evening.
He described video surveillance the police seized from several businesses and residences in between T & T Bar and South Myers Avenue where Craig’s body was found just minutes after leaving the bar. Testimony from several witnesses revealed that Wiley and Rain got in Craig’s car at the bar after its 2 a.m. closing time.
That surveillance footage showed Craig’s car traveling from the bar and ending up on South Myers Avenue. The timestamps on the videos revealed that the car left the bar around 2:31 a.m. and the last video from a residence on South Myers shows Craig’s car passing by around 2:41 a.m.
Martwinski said that, according to Google maps, the time it takes to drive from the bar to the South Myers location at that time of the morning is about 11 minutes.
Martwinski also testifed that in the video surveillance, Rain appears to have a gun on him inside and outside of the bar. He pointed out to the jury a bulge around Rain’s waistline.
Martwinski’s testimony ended the day, but is not over. The defense will have the chance to cross examine the detective today.
Mercer County District Attorney Peter C. Acker said that due to cases of witness intimidation, he could not reveal who else is on today’s witness list.
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