- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 13, 2019

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A 12-member jury, including three blacks, has been selected for next week’s trial of a white former Pennsylvania police officer accused of criminal homicide for the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager last year.

The final three jurors and four alternates were picked Wednesday to hear the allegations against former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld.

Rosfeld, 30, of Verona, is charged in the death last June of Antwon Rose, a 17-year-old high school student, after Rosfeld stopped a vehicle in which Rose was a passenger as part of a shooting investigation.

The main jury panel includes two black women and one black man. The jury will be sequestered.

Judge Alexander Bicket announced at the start of proceedings Wednesday that he would not change his decision the previous day to seat a black woman on the jury despite an attempt by Rosfeld’s lawyers to keep her off the panel.



Rosfeld lawyer Patrick Thomassey argued there was no basis to say he had tried to eliminate the 55-year-old Harrisburg woman based on race or gender, and said he was offended by any suggestion to the contrary.

“I’m about this close to saying I want off the case,” he told the judge Wednesday.

Bicket said the prosecutors’ objections to Thomassey’s attempt to keep her off the jury did not mean the defense were racists, and ended the discussion.

Jurors were picked in Harrisburg because of pretrial publicity, but the trial will be in Pittsburgh.

The three final jurors on the main panel picked Wednesday morning were a heavy equipment operator, a state budget analyst and an unemployed man who has worked in a bar and as a notary.

Rosfeld’s lawyer has argued he was afraid and the shooting was justified. Investigators have said Rosfeld was charged after his story changed about whether he saw or believed a gun was in Rose’s hands.

Video shot by bystanders showed Rose being shot, including in his back, as he ran from the vehicle.

A series of protests occurred after the shooting, including a late-night march down a major Pittsburgh highway.

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