NEW CASTLE More charges filed in holiday slaying
A preliminary hearing is set for next week.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Additional firearm charges were filed against one of the two men accused in a fatal New Year's Day shooting.
Police said Michael Malnar of New York City is a felon and prohibited from carrying a gun.
Court records show that Malnar was convicted Nov. 8, 1994, of felony attempted unarmed robbery and convicted Oct. 13, 1997, of felony drug charges, both in Michigan.
Police have said that Malnar shot Torrance Respress, 33, of Moody Avenue in the leg to stop a fight on Boyles Avenue about 10 a.m. New Year's Day.
Malnar handed the gun over to Willie Smith and ran, police said.
Police said Smith, 63, of Butler, fired the fatal shot, and he is charged with criminal homicide and discharging a gun within city limits.
In addition to the charge of carrying a gun, Malnar also faces charges of aggravated assault, firing a gun in the city limits and receiving stolen property.
Court papers said that in August, the 9 mm Ruger that Malnar was carrying was reported stolen to the Southwest Regional Police Department in Mercer County.
Took the gun
Malnar told police he took possession of the gun inside a Boyles Avenue home and carried it outside, where he shot Respress in the legs, according to court records.
Malnar was scheduled Thursday for a preliminary hearing, but that was changed to the next Thursday because of the new gun charges.
No date has been set for Smith's preliminary hearing. Lawrence County Central Court officials said he has not yet hired an attorney.