Tri County Report For July 21st 2017

State Police in Lawrence County report an Ellwood City man was hurt when his motorcycle struck a deer.  The accident took place on Old Pittsburgh Road in Wayne Township on Wednesday night.. 54 year old John Hall was northbound when he struck the deer.  Hall was taken to Allegheny General Hospital for treatment.

A man jumped out of a second-story window last night to escape the fire that destroyed his home in Ellwood City.  According to the Ellwood City Ledger The fire broke out just after 8 p.m. at a home at 130 Orchard Ave. and spread to a home next door at 136  The home at  130 Orchard was a total loss and the house next door had exterior fire damage and interior smoke and water damage. There were four people living at the home but only one man was at home at the time of the fire. He was treated for minor injuries at the scene. Several departments assisted Ellwood City. The cause remains under investigation.

Police are investigating a fight at an off-campus apartment complex in Slippery Rock.  Officers were called to The Heights along Route 173 early Monday for a report of a brawl and found Brandon Pollice unconscious at the scene.  Witnesses told detectives he had been involved in a “rap battle” with Nicholas Lucia, who allegedly got mad and punched Pollice, causing him to hit his head.  Pollice was flown to the hospital and Lucia was charged with felony assault.

Police in Butler County believe the same man that robbed the Citizens Bank inside Giant Eagle at the Clearview Mall is the same man that robbed the First National Bank in Prospect Wednesday afternoon.  22 year old Alexander Welter of Chicora was arrested late Wednesday night. State Police said in both robberies handwritten notes were passed to tellars demanding money, but no weapons where used. Welter is in the Butler County Prison on bond.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin in October for the sentencing trial of a man convicted of murdering a mentally challenged Greensburg woman.  The judge set the date yesterday and the jurors will decide if Melvin Knight should be executed or serve life in prison for stabbing Jennifer Daugherty.  Knight and five others, known as the Greensburg Six, held Daugherty captive for two days in a Pennsylvania Avenue apartment in 2010.  She was tortured, raped and then stabbed to death.  Knight pleaded guilty and was sentenced him to death but an appeals court overturned the sentence, saying the jury was not told to consider that he had no prior criminal record.

A state Supreme Court ruling is keeping certain sex offenders off the offender’s registry.  The ruling, handed down yesterday, means sex offenders who committed crimes before 2012 do not have to comply with the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act.  Almost four-thousand victims, who use the registry to stay current on their offenders’ locations, will be affected.  The court says it is unconstitutional to make someone comply with the act if they were not made aware of it at sentencing.

A former Greensburg foster mother is heading to trial on charges she had sex with a teenage boy in her care.  Joelle Barozzini was held for court yesterday and is charged with rape, corruption of minors and child endangerment.  Police say the contact began in 2009 and continued until the victim left Barozzini’s care in 2013.  Police were not informed about the relationship until this year, even though a former Children and Youth Services caseworker expressed concerns about the pair in 2012.  The caseworker was allegedly reprimanded for “gossiping” by Pressley Ridge Foster Care.

Things are back to normal following a truck fire in Washington Township.  The flames began in a hay trailer on Branchton Road Wednesday.  There was initial concern that the blaze could ignite a nearby pipeline but firefighters were able to put it out before any serious damage occurred.