The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

December 17, 2012

Appeal delays assault trial

EBENSBURG — A two-day trial in a domestic violence case that was to open Thursday has been postponed while prosecutors appeal a judge’s decision barring the use of threatening text messages sent to the alleged victim.

Shannon Greene, 31, of Cresson, is charged by Gallitzin Borough police with two counts of simple assault and six counts of terrorist threats.

Greene is accused of physically assaulting his ex-girlfriend in a March 13 confrontation at her house. He is accused of grabbing a push broom she had and hitting her with it.

Prosecutors alleged that Greene sent the woman threatening text messages on various occasions, including ones that said, “I can’t just hang out with you being with someone else,” and “If I can’t have you, none will.”

Scott Lilly, chief deputy district attorney, said Judge Norman Krumenacker’s decision “will terminate or substantially handicap the prosecution” in its case against Greene.

Prosecutors would use the text messages to show motive, opportunity, intent or preparation, Lilly said.

But the defense contended the messages were sent at a time not relative to the crime.

Also at issue in the appeal is Krumenacker’s denial of a second prosecution motion seeking to introduce into evidence that the defendant allegedly used bath salts or “blizzard.”

Defense attorney Philip Masorti said the alleged usage took place prior to any of the alleged incidents.

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