The homicide trial of Richard Poplawski resumed today with more testimony from the Pittsburgh Police. The 24-year-old Stanton Heights man is accused of killing three city policemen and endangering many more.
SWAT Team Leader Steven Mescan says he led an improvised rescue of Officers Eric Kelly and Timothy McManaway, who were lying injured outside Poplawski’s Fairfield Street home. Kelly later died of his wounds.
Mescan also gave a detailed account of the SWAT operations to retrieve the bodies of the other two officers killed that day, Steven Mayhle and Paul Sciullo.
The SWAT officer says his unit surrounded the Poplawski house to make sure nobody could escape the scene. Mescan says both a driver and a pedestrian were seen leaving the area, but police determined they weren’t involved in the incident.
A SWAT team also took Poplawski’s mother into custody when they learned she was trapped in the basement. Mescan says after almost four hours of gunfire, the suspect was brought into custody by the police and treated for a leg wound.
Before the jury appeared, Judge Jeffrey Manning ruled Poplawski’s comments to 9-1-1 operators could be admitted as evidence as long as the prosecution omitted several racial slurs. The defense had wanted those tapes to be excluded completely, while the prosecution had wanted the full statements to be replayed.
The trial is expected to continue with more testimony in the next few days.