- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A preliminary hearing has again been postponed for a Pennsylvania man accused of fighting with police before his son fatally stabbed a K-9 and was killed by officers.

Allegheny County prosecutors asked that Thursday’s hearing be pushed back to March 3, because a witness was unavailable for the hearing on aggravated assault and other charges faced by Bruce Kelley Sr., 60, of Wilkinsburg.

The hearing had been postponed once before at the request of Kelley’s attorneys so he could mourn his son, Bruce Kelley Jr., 37, who was killed during the Jan. 31 confrontation with police.

A district judge also reduced Kelley’s bond from $300,000 to $25,000 so he’ll have a better chance at being released from jail in time for next month’s hearing.

Port Authority of Allegheny County transit police shot Kelley Jr. after he killed the K-9, a German shepherd named Aren.

Defense attorney Ernest Sharif called the confrontation “unfortunate” and said Kelley Sr. maintains his innocence. Blaine Jones, another defense attorney, said Kelley will undergo a mental health evaluation.

The deadly encounter occurred after transit police saw the men drinking alcohol in a busway gazebo in Wilkinsburg.

The officers who shot Kelley Jr. have been placed on paid leave pending an internal review and a ruling by the district attorney on whether deadly force was justified. District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. also plans to determine whether the dog was properly deployed.

Police have said Kelley Jr. fought with them and that his father intervened, punching a female officer, and was later found to have brass knuckles.

Officers said they deployed the dog after Kelley Jr. couldn’t be subdued with a stun gun while waving a knife at them.

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This story has been corrected to say that prosecutors, not defense attorneys, requested the hearing be postponed.

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