Local/State

Openings set in 2011 Pa. officer killing trial

Monday, May 14, 2012
George Hitcho

This is an undated mug shot of George Hitcho. Image courtesy WFMZ-TV.

Opening statements are set to begin in the murder trial of a Pennsylvania man accused of killing a police officer last summer.

Authorities say George Hitcho Jr. killed Freemansburg police officer Robert Lasso as Lasso responded to a complaint at Hitcho's home on Aug. 11.

Police say Lasso was trying to fend off Hitcho's dogs while responding to a disturbance call when Hitcho shot him in the head with a shotgun.

Hitcho's attorneys say they don't dispute their client killed Lasso, but told prospective jurors they'll be asked to consider if his actions were premeditated.

The defense has previously said it may argue Hitcho has diminished mental capacity.

Prosecutors say they'll pursue the death penalty if Hitcho is convicted of first-degree murder.

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Tags:
police officer killed, homicide, pennsylvania, northampton county, local/state
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