Pittsburgh man in fed court on charges in deadly 1996 fire
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A man accused of having started a Pittsburgh blaze that killed three firefighters two decades ago is due in federal court.
Thirty-nine-year-old Gregory Brown Jr is scheduled for his initial appearance Monday afternoon on a charge of malicious destruction of property resulting in death.
The Allegheny County district attorney’s office withdrew state charges after disagreements with a judge in the case, and the feds have taken the case. Defense attorney Dave Fawcett has called the move “gamesmanship.”
Brown was convicted in 1997 of three second-degree murder counts. Prosecutors said he set the 1996 blaze in order to collect a $20,000 renter’s insurance policy.
The conviction was thrown out after the defense said prosecutors and a federal agent didn’t disclose evidence that witnesses were offered money in exchange for their testimony.