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Drug dealer suspect in PA police killing found unresponsive before jury selection

  1. Rob Cypher
    View attachment 29678 The suspect in the death of a Penn Hills police officer was found unresponsive in his jail cell Tuesday morning and is in "very bad condition," according to a source close to the case.

    Federal marshals have arrested a key, though reluctant, witness in the death penalty trial of a man charged with killing a Penn Hills police officer and another man.

    It's been nearly three years since Penn Hills lost police Officer Michael Crawshaw, who was killed in the line of duty as he waited for backup.

    Jury selection for the Ronald Robinson trial -- a death penalty case -- was scheduled to begin Tuesday in front of Judge Kevin Sasinoski. It's now on hold indefinitely.

    Robinson, 35, of Homewood, was found in his cell at the Allegheny County Jail around 4:30 a.m. and taken to a hospital. Defense attorney Veronica Brestensky told The Associated Press that Robinson is on life support.

    Court officials said the decision to take Robinson off life support rests with the Allegheny County Jail warden.

    A judge issued a court order on Tuesday allowing Robinson's mother to visit him at his bedside for 30 minutes.

    It's not yet clear what happened to Robinson, who's charged with homicide for the fatal shooting of Officer Michael Crawshaw in December 2009.

    Brestensky said Robinson was not hanged, initial tests have found no drugs in his system, and doctors are running tests to determine what is wrong with him.

    Robinson's trial had already been postponed once, because prosecutors couldn't find a witness who they said was reluctant to testify. Federal marshals found the person last month and took him into custody, and the trial was rescheduled for November.

    County police said Crawshaw, 32, was shot in his car on Johnston Road, where he was responding to a call at a house and waiting for backup.

    Danyal Morton, 40, was found shot to death in the house when police arrived. Homicide detectives said Robinson -- wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet -- had gone there to collect drug money.

    (pictured: 35-year-old suspect Ronald Robinson)

    Pictures of the slain: 32-year-old Penn Hills police officer Michael Crawshaw

    View attachment 29679

    40-year-old Danyal Morton



  1. Rob Cypher
    I've known people that have been there in the past. I could believe that somebody got a hold of him; the place has a prisoner abuse scandal at least once a year.

    Although it's equally as possible that he smuggled a bunch of other prisoners' meds into his cell and overdosed on them deliberately. It doesn't seem like they found
    any overt physical trauma so far.
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