Sep. 12—The trial began Tuesday for a Mt. Pleasant man accused of firing a gun at police as officers responded to a report of an alleged home invasion in 2021.
Westmoreland County prosecutors say Richard Teeters, 52, was the lone occupant of the Pine Street home when police fled for cover after one round was fired from inside the residence. Investigators claim the reported home invasion was bogus.
“There is no evidence of any other individuals in this location,” said Assistant District Attorney Allen Powanda. “There were no footprints, no other damage. There’s nothing.”
Teeters is charged with a felony count of aggravated assault and misdemeanor reckless endangerment, simple assault and disorderly conduct in connection with the alleged shooting.
Prosecutors contend Teeters told a 911 dispatcher on May 24, 2021, that two men were attempting to break into his home and that he fired a warning shot in response.
Mt. Pleasant Borough police Officer William Tripoli testified he and two officers from Scottdale responded to a reported home invasion and as they approached the house, they heard the crack of gunfire.
“We ran for safety. There was a hole in the top window (of the home) that was not previously there,” Tripoli testified.
Officers from multiple neighboring communities and the state police were called for backup. Teeters walked out of the home about 30 minutes after police first arrived on the scene, placed a 9mm loaded handgun on the hood of a parked truck and crawled to officers, who placed him in custody.
The prosecution’s police witnesses testified that it was determined there was no one else in the home. Two bullet casings from a 9mm weapon were found at the scene, one inside the attic and another in the grass outside of the residence, investigators testified.
Police said Teeters confessed to the shooting and claimed that he had used drugs and alcohol the previous night.
Teeters’ lawyer William McCabe did not make an opening statement to the jury, deferring comments until after the prosecution presents all of its evidence. During the questioning of police witnesses, McCabe suggested the defense is likely to claim prosecutors cannot prove that Teeters fired the weapon at police.
The attic window bullet hole is a focus for the defense.
“Is there evidence to look at the hole and tell what direction the bullet shot came from,” McCabe asked during his cross examination of Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Nicholas Iera.
“No,” answered Iera.
Cpl. Trey Parsley, another state police investigator, testified officers did not find any rounds fired in or outside of the home.
Testimony in the trial will continue on Wednesday.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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