Allegheny County judge recuses himself from 2016 Wilkinsburg mass shooting case

May 16, 2018 GMT

The Court of Common Pleas judge who for two years has presided over the case of two men charged with carrying out a deadly, ambush-style shooting on a backyard gathering in Wilkinsburg recused himself from the case Tuesday, court filings show.

Judge David Cashman made the recusal following a hearing regarding the cases of Robert Thomas and Cheron Shelton, both of whom face the death penalty in the March 2016 massacre of five adults and an unborn child.

Common Pleas Judge Edward J. Borkowski has been assigned to the case.

Police accused Shelton, 31, and Thomas, 29, of planning and executing the shooting on Wilkinsburg’s Franklin Avenue.

Police said Thomas opened fire from an alley and drove the crowd toward a back porch. According to authorities, Shelton came from between two houses and used an AK-47-style weapon to mow people down as they tried to flee.

Those killed in the shooting included siblings Brittany Powell, 27, Chanetta Powell, 25, and Jerry Shelton, 35; Chanetta Powell’s unborn son, Demetrius; the siblings’ cousin Tina Shelton, 37; and family friend Shada Mahone, 26.

None of the slain Sheltons is related to the defendant.

A trial is scheduled for August.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer.