District Judge Mark Bilik yesterday ordered a Josephine man to stand trial for allegedly shooting his former girlfriend nine times and leaving her for dead at a home in Derry on December 1st.
Bilik revoked the bond for 51-year-old Arthur Whitfield III after testimony that he sent a message from prison to two daughters of the victim ordering them not to testify against him. 21-year-old Alisha Whitfield is the daughter of Whitfield and 35-year-old Holly Embry, who remains in UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh in critical condition. Alisha saw her father fire the last two shots at her mother, and told the judge Whitfield has called her at least ten times since his arrest but she has refused to take the calls, so another family member delivered the message.
Police had previously said Embry was shot four times, but testimony yesterday revealed that it was actually nine times. Embry and her daughter, Savannah were watching TV in a bedroom when Whitfield forced his way into their home and attacked.
Public defender Joseph Massaro Jr. argued against the revocation of the $250,000 bond, but Judge Bilik said that not having contact with anyone involved in the case was the first stipulation when bond was set, and he had already violated that while still in prison. Massaro pleaded not guilty on his client’s behalf. Bilik ordered Whitfield to trial for attempted homicide, aggravated and simple assault, three weapons charges, and reckless endangerment. Police may file additonal charges related to witness intimidation.