12/21/2005

Pa. trooper was slain with his own gun, prosecutor says

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH- A state trooper killed earlier this month after an early morning highway chase was shot twice with his own weapon, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Cpl. Joseph Pokorny, 45, was shot during a struggle after the chase ended a few miles southwest of Pittsburgh, just off Interstate 279, police said.

Leslie D. Mollett, 30, has been charged with criminal homicide in the Dec. 12 shooting. He has pleaded not guilty.

The fatal shot went through Pokorny's left arm and into part of his chest not protected by his bulletproof vest. A second shot hit him in the head.

Both bullets were fired from Pokorny's 40-caliber Beretta handgun, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. said.

The gun is still missing, he said.

Zappala said he hasn't decided whether to pursue the death penalty against Mollett, who was jailed without bond.

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