- Associated Press - Monday, July 7, 2014

BEAVER, Pa. (AP) - A western Pennsylvania sheriff went on trial Monday on charges that he threatened to shoot an online news reporter who questioned him about a contract.

Beaver County Sheriff George David is charged with threatening John Paul Vranesevich, who runs the Beaver Countian website, with a gun and a blackjack during an April 2012 meeting in the sheriff’s office.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Laurel Brandstetter told jurors in her opening statement that David used his position to try to “silence the media.”

The sheriff’s lawyer, Lee Rothman, accused the reporter of deliberately provoking David into getting angry. He suggested the case stemmed from a political vendetta by the county prothonotary.

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