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Judge will hear from attorneys in advance of trials


In Westmoreland County Court today, Judge John Blahovec will conduct pretrial proceedings for the defendants charged with the murder of an Indiana County man last December.


Ronell Moses of Penn Hills has admitted he shot Michael Volk of West Wheatfield Township, but says it was in self defense as Volk tried to rob him during a drug deal. 


Jesus Santiago, at whose trailer in Torrance the shooting took place, is charged with second degree murder, as are his girlfriend, Tiffany Blattenberger, and Volk’s girlfriend, Danielle Clawson.  They are charged because prosecutors contend that their actions in plotting the robbery led directly to Volk’s death.


Judge Blahovec will hear arguments on a series of motions by Santiago’s attorney, including motions to quash information and to compel discovery of the evidence against him, and writs of habeus corpus for dismissal of both criminal homicide and second degree murder.


Also today, Blahovec will hear from Blattenberger’s attorney, who has filed a motion for a nominal bond hearing. Clawson has also filed writs of habeus corpus for dismissal of the homicide and second-degree murder charges, but her name does not appear on the judge’s schedule today.


The attorney for Moses will huddle with the judge and prosecutors for a pre-trial conference.  He is the only defendant so far for whom a trial date has been established.  Jury selection is scheduled for December 9th.      

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Kathleen Smathers

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