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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, December 08, 2014

Morganelli Updates Investigation Into Police Shooting

Following a police chase that started in Palmer Township and went through several municipalities, Richard Scheuerman III died on October 24. The mentally disturbed Wilson Borough resident may have killed himself with a folding knife found lodged in his neck. He may have succumbed to six police shots fired when he attempted to back his truck off a phone pole and possibly into the path of police officers. Two officers, one from Easton and the other from Palmer Township, have been placed on administrative leave. Pennsylvania State Police are conducting the investigation.

This evening, NorCo Distract Attorney John Morganelli updated the public on the status of the investigation, which appears to be nearly complete:

Today I met with investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police as well as Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek . Also present was Dr. Hua, the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Mr. Schuermann. The meeting lasted 2 1/2 hours and included an oral report from investigators as to the statements of all relevant witnesses, an oral report from Dr. Hua, and a Power Point presentation that included audio and video of the police pursuit, crash and subsequent events. Still photos were also reviewed.

Upon conclusion of the briefing, I requested that police obtain 2 additional pieces of information that I believe is necessary for a complete investigation. I expect to have that in the next few days. In addition, I need the coroner to officially certify the cause and manner of death. I believe the coroner is now in a position to do that also within the next few days. Lastly, I have asked PSP to provide to me ASAP all reports, statements, etc., in writing so I may evaluate that information directly rather than merely relying on oral summaries provided by investigators.

I also placed a phone call today to Attorney Josh Karoly, counsel for the Scheuermann family, It is my understanding that he conducted his own investigation and I want to give him an opportunity, if he chooses, to share any information he may have developed with me so that I am sure all relevant information that is out there is considered. Although I believe PSP has provided me with all the relevant information, I welcome any additional information that Mr. Karoly may have uncovered or developed.

The events as they unfolded involved seconds and minutes. In fairness to the police officer and to the victim's family, there should be no rush to judgement . Now that the investigation has been largely completed, I need time to make the right decision. At the present time, I have not ruled out the use of a grand jury, or even a referral to the OAG as the best course to assure that the ultimate decision on the use of deadly force is objective, unbiased and transparent.

No further inquiries will be entertained until all of the above is completed.


Anonymous said...

It must be investigated.

Anonymous said...

Yes it should be investigated. The police seem to be very free with use of deadly force.

Anonymous said...

John's been generating lots of publicity lately. Is he running for re-election next year or seeking a judgeship? Lots of openings on the state appellate courts and one on CCP.

Bernie O'Hare said...

He's not generating the publicity.It is the people committing crimes who are generating the publicity. So far as I know, he will be unopposed next year. He could run for one of the three supreme Court seats, and I think he should. But I don't know if he has made such a decision. Ask him. He's fairly open.

Anonymous said...

wannabee, also ran - these are johns attributes

Anonymous said...

When did this guy become such a good guy? After he died? From what we've read, doesn't seem like he was all that great while he was alive. ET makes it like this guy was MLK or Gandhi.