Jury selection for the trial of a man charged with fatally shooting a Penn Hills police officer was put on hold indefinitely this morning after the defendant was found unresponsive in his jail cell. Defense attorney Veronica Brestensky said 35-year-old Ronald Robinson is on life support at UPMC Mercy.
Robinson was found by officers on the floor of his Allegheny County Jail cell Tuesday when they went to get him ready for his court appearance. Brestensky said Robinson was not hanged and that initial tests have found no drugs in his system. Doctors have been running tests to determine what is wrong with him.
Prosecutors allege Robinson gunned down Penn Hills officer Michael Crawshaw in December of 2009 after he responded to a 911 call at a house where it is alleged that Robinson killed 40-year-old Danyal Morton over a $500 drug debt. Crawshaw was in his patrol car when he was shot.
Jury selection was to begin Tuesday, with testimony scheduled for Nov. 26.