The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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July 30, 2013

State News in Brief | Pitt doctor pleads not guilty in wife’s poisoning

PITTSBURGH — A University of Pittsburgh medical researcher who allegedly poisoned his neurologist wife by lacing an energy drink with cyanide pleaded not guilty Tuesday to criminal homicide.

Dr. Robert Ferrante, 64, was arraigned in Pittsburgh a day after waiving extradition from West Virginia, where he was arrested last week.

Defense attorney William Difenderfer has said Ferrante “adamantly” denies involvement in the April 20 death of his wife, Dr. Autumn Klein, three days after she suddenly fell ill.

But after the arraignment, Difenderfer refused comment on any of the allegations, including that Ferrante bought the poison with a university credit card two days before his wife fell ill.

Ex-Pittsburgh school officer guilty of molesting four boys

PITTSBURGH – A former Pittsburgh Public Schools police officer has been convicted of molesting four boys in the late 1990s, when he pulled them out of class and forced them to perform sex acts in a middle school broom closet.

The weeklong trial of Robert Lellock, 44, of Pittsburgh, ended Monday when a jury took just three hours to convict him of 13 charges including indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors.

Lellock didn’t comment as he was taken to jail to await his Oct. 8 sentencing, when he’s expected to get several years behind bars.

Hearing delayed for man accused of recording burning boy

SAXONBURG – A western Pennsylvania man accused of throwing nail polish on his girlfriend’s 7-year-old son then recording him after he was set on fire had a preliminary hearing delayed while prosecutors interview another possible witness.

Defense attorney Gerald Cassady said he may request a bail reduction for 36-year-old Edward Myers. The Saxonburg man declined comment at his appearance Tuesday before a district judge about 30 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Police said Myers threw nail polish on the boy in the May 25 incident then did nothing to help him after he was set on fire, either by Myers himself or other boys at the home.

Police said the boy suffered third-degree burns on his face and chest.

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