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Sunday, January 29, 2012

[PA] Patricia Oliver "not guilty" of murdering ex-Niagra Police Officer husband Anthony

A Conneautville-area woman [Patricia Oliver] won't go to jail for the shotgun slaying of her husband, ex-Niagara Falls police officer Anthony Oliver... "As he was coming through the door, he was calling me a (expletive), and told me to get up," she said. "He said he was going to teach me a lesson." Mrs. Oliver said she then stood up with a 12-gauge shotgun that her husband kept under the bed... Under the general charge of criminal homicide, the jury was to decide if Mrs. Oliver was guilty of either first-degree murder, third-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter. The jury found Mrs. Oliver not guilty of any of those degrees of criminal homicide...

NEWS EXCERPTS FROM 
OCTOBER 5, 2010 THROUGH JANUARY 27, 2012

WOMAN IN CUSTODY AFTER ALLEGEDLY KILLING HUSBAND
Meadville Tribune
October 5, 2010
[Excerpts] A Hayfield Township woman [Patricia M. Oliver] was charged by Pennsylvania State Police after allegedly shooting and killing her husband Tuesday morning... She is accused by state police of shooting and killing her 63-year-old husband, Anthony D. Oliver, at their home shortly before 10 a.m.
Authorities were tight-lipped about the incident Tuesday releasing few details. It "stemmed from what appeared to be a domestic dispute ... (that) escalated into her discharging a firearm and killing him"... [Full article here]

EX-COP FROM NIAGARA FALLS KILLED IN PENNSYLVANIA
Niagara Gazette
By Rick Pfeiffer
October 6, 2010
[Excerpts] Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the murder of a former Niagara Falls police officer in what is being described as a "domestic violence incident."... [Anthony "Tony"] Oliver had been shot once in the chest by a blast from a shotgun. Neighbors reported hearing a single shot coming from Oliver's home just before police received the call of the shooting. Pennsylvania State Police investigators arrested and charged Oliver's wife, Patricia, 53, with one count of criminal homicide... A judge ordered her jailed without bail... "During his tenure as a Niagara Falls police officer, he was a good street cop who worked hard to ensure the safety of the public," Falls Police Superintendent John Chella said... After retiring from the Falls force, Oliver took a management position with Modern Corporation. In 2004, he was fired from there following reports of sexual improprieties. In July 2004, in a deal with Niagara County prosecutors, Oliver pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual abuse stemming from the employment incident. As a result of that plea, Oliver became a registered sex offender...  [Full article here]

VICTIM IN HAYFIELD TOWNSHIP HOMICIDE DIED OF GUNSHOT WOUND TO THE CHEST
timesnews.com
By Tim Hahn
October 7, 2010
[Excerpts] A Hayfield Township couple got into a heated argument inside their tan, ranch-style home Tuesday morning. Police say the argument ended when 53-year-old Patricia M. Oliver grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun and fired it into the chest of her 63-year-old husband, Anthony D. Oliver. Patricia Oliver remained in the Crawford County Correctional Facility without bond Wednesday on a count of criminal homicide... State police Troop E spokesman Sgt. Mark Zaleski said Anthony and Patricia Oliver had no history of domestic disputes "that we are aware of"... [Full article here]

TRIAL FOR WOMAN ACCUSED IN SHOTGUN DEATH OF HUSBAND
Meadville Tribune
By Keith Gushard
December 8, 2010
[Excerpts] "I can't go on," a tearful Patricia M. Oliver sobbed to family members after she was ordered held for trial in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas on a charge of criminal homicide. Oliver, 53, of 16782 S. Norrisville Road, Conneautville, was bound over to county court following Tuesday's preliminary hearing... Before onlookers that included several family members, she continued her emotional outburst for several minutes after the conclusion of the proceeding, before being led back to her jail cell... Oliver, who's been held at the jail since her Oct. 5 arrest, spent much of the one-hour and 15-minute hearing sobbing softly... [Police criminal investigator Trooper Eric] Mallory testified that in an interview with Mrs. Oliver after her arrest, she said the couple had awakened ... Mrs. Oliver said she was awakened later after her husband yelled out an expletive statement while he was doing bills in the kitchen... Mrs. Oliver said Mr. Oliver threw a chair or stool at the bedroom door, and called her a name as he entered the bedroom, Mallory said. Mr. Oliver then called her another name that Mrs. Oliver said she "absolutely despises"... Mrs. Oliver said that her husband yelled he was going "to teach her a lesson." Mrs. Oliver said she then rolled off the bed and reached for a shotgun her husband kept under it, Mallory said. Mrs. Oliver then came up off the floor, shot her husband once, put the gun on the bed and called 911, Mallory said... Mrs. Oliver said Mr. Oliver didn't have anything in his hands when he came at her... She also was familiar with how the gun worked, and she had a .410-gauge shotgun of her own... Under cross-examination by Jeff Misko, an assistant county public defender, Mallory testified Mrs. Oliver said she hadn't been abused by her husband. "She said they were soul-mates and had been through everything together," Mallory said... [Full article here]

DEFENSE: TOSS OUT MURDER SUSPECT'S ALLEGED CONFESSION
Meadville Tribune
By Keith Gushard
October 19, 2011
[Excerpts] The homicide trial of a Conneautville area woman accused by Pennsylvania State Police of the shotgun slaying of her husband last October now is scheduled for January in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas. However, Judge John Spataro, who will preside over the upcoming trial, must rule on whether Patricia Oliver's alleged confession to state police should be suppressed from being entered into evidence... [Full article here]

DISPUTED CONFESSION TO BE PART OF ACCUSED KILLER'S TRIAL
Meadville Tribune
By Keith Gushard
January 4, 2012
[Excerpts] ...Judge John Spataro, who will preside over the upcoming trial, has denied a defense motion to suppress a video-taped police interview of Oliver in which she allegedly confessed... Spataro in December found Oliver did knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waive her rights and fully comprehended the nature of her actions, "despite her extreme emotional state." "At the time of Defendant's (Oliver's) waiver, she was coherent and appropriately responsive in expressing her understanding of her Miranda rights and her voluntary waiver of those rights"... [Full article here]

DEATH SCENE PHOTOS MAY BE KEPT FROM JURY IN OLIVER TRIAL
Meadville Tribune
By Keith Gushard
January 19, 2012
[Excerpts] A judge will decide if color photographs of a local man shotgunned to death in his home are too graphic for a jury to see... Jeff Misko, an assistant county public defender representing Oliver, argued the admission of photographs were irrelevant and the admission of color photographs of Mr. Oliver at the scene would "inflame the passions of the jury," prejudicing the jury against his client... Doug Ferguson, the assistant district attorney who will prosecute the case, argued the photos are relevant, and not inflammatory since they show nearly no blood and only the final position of the victim... [Full article here]

JUDGE TO ALLOW PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE AT OLIVER HOMICIDE TRIAL
Meadville Tribune
January 20, 2012
[Excerpt] A Crawford County jury will be able to see photographs of a local man allegedly shotgunned to death in his home by his wife... [Full article here]

ALLEGED CONFESSION OF OLIVER HOMICIDE EXPECTED
Meadville Tribune
By Keith Gushard
January 24, 2012
[Excerpts] The alleged videotaped confession of a Conneautville area woman accused in the shotgun slaying of her husband 15 months ago is expected to be played today in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas... Jeff Misko, an assistant public defender who is one of Mrs. Oliver's defense attorneys, said in his opening statement that while a lot of the evidence is not in dispute, there was legal justification for the shooting. "Patricia Oliver acted in self-defense," Misko said, saying evidence would show Mrs. Oliver was in threat of immediate serious bodily injury that day. "It was a life or death decision on what she's going to do," Misko said of why the gun was fired.... [Full article here]

WIFE FOUND NOT GUILTY IN SLAYING OF EX-NIAGARA FALLS POLICE OFFICER
The Meadville Tribune
By Keith Gushard
January 27, 2012
[Excerpts] A Conneautville-area woman won't go to jail for the shotgun slaying of her husband, ex-Niagara Falls police officer Anthony Oliver, at their home more than 15 months ago. The not-guilty verdict in the criminal homicide trial of Patricia Oliver, 54, in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas brought gasps from supporters on both sides in attendance... Under the general charge of criminal homicide, the jury was to decide if Mrs. Oliver was guilty of either first-degree murder, third-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter. The jury found Mrs. Oliver not guilty of any of those degrees of criminal homicide... Mrs. Oliver testified she sat on the bed, looked toward the kitchen, saw her husband get up from his chair and heard a chair bang into a kitchen cupboard. She then saw Mr. Oliver come toward the bedroom, cursing her loudly, she testified. She said she rolled off the bed, landing between it and the doorway in an attempt to hide from her husband. "As he was coming through the door, he was calling me a (expletive), and told me to get up," she said. "He said he was going to teach me a lesson." Mrs. Oliver said she then stood up with a 12-gauge shotgun that her husband kept under the bed. "I was scared he was going to kill me," she said. "I thought he was going to beat the crap out of me or beat me senseless."... After the verdict was announced Friday,  wept when she realized the jury was setting her free. Then, through tears, she hugged and thanked her attorneys Jeff Misko, an assistant public defender for Crawford County, and Robert Trambley, the county public defender...http://niagara-gazette.com/local/x1456433208/Wife-found-innocent-in-slaying-of-ex-Niagara-Falls-police-officer

OLIVER HOMICIDE VERDICT: NOT GUILTY [Longer version of above article]
CNHI News Service
By Keith Gushard
January 27, 2012
[Excerpts] A Conneautville-area woman won't go to jail for the shotgun slaying of her husband at their home more than 15 months ago... Following the verdict, Misko said Mrs. Oliver was declining to speak with reporters. Family members from both sides of the Oliver family also declined to speak with reporters following the verdict... Mrs. Oliver was expected to live with relatives following her release... Crawford County District Attorney Francis Schultz said he was extremely disappointed by the jury's verdict. "Our office, Doug Ferguson especially, put a lot of time into the case," Schultz said. "Pennsylvania State Police, likewise, they did a thorough investigation. Unfortunately it wasn't enough in the eyes of the jury." Schultz said he feels for Mr. Oliver's family members. "It's bad enough he was shot and killed, but the person who we and the family believe as responsible, won't be punished." [Full article here]

ANTHONY D. OLIVER
Niagara Gazette
October 7, 2010
[Excerpts] Anthony D. "Tony" Oliver, 63, of Conneautville, PA, formerly of Lewiston, NY, died suddenly on Tuesday October 5, 2010 in Conneautville, PA.  Born in Niagara Falls, NY, he was the son of Mary (Fantrazzo) Oliver of Lewiston, NY, and the late Tony Oliver. During the 1960's he served in the United States Army. He was employed as a police officer for the City of Niagara Falls, NY and after his retirement worked with the Lewiston, NY Police Department. Tony enjoyed spending time with his family and visiting with his mother. In addition to his mother, Tony is survived by three children... his granddaughter... two sisters... and his best friend... There will be no prior visitation. Family and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, October 9th at 10 AM in St. Peter's Church... [Full obituary here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder homicide pennsylvania state politics female perp perpetrator]

1 comment:

  1. Pennsylvania's law of self-defense in the home, or person,s place of business, does not require retreat if one has a reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death as in the Oliver case. Nor does it require the attacker to posses a weapon as long as the fear of death or serious bodily injury is reasonable.

    That "reasonableness" is a question for the jury to decide based on the facts. I sat through most of the Oliver trial. This was the evidence the jury heard.

    There was a threat made by a man to a much smaller woman. The man, an ex-cop, who likely knew how to handle himself, was 5'11" weighed 210 lbs and his wife 5'2" and 145 lbs. The man was in a rage yelling and screaming obscenities at his wife and calling her vile names. He threw a chair among other things at the bedroom where she woke due to the volume of his yelling.

    He threatened her, she raised the gun and asked him to go away, but he continued to advance. She testified she pulled the trigger to protect herself from getting hurt or dying. She testified this argument took on a dimension of violence that wasn't present in any previous marital argument.

    Every state in the country recognizes the use of deadly force to protect oneself. The reasonableness of that force is left for jury to decide. The jury foreman stated they examined all the evidence and came to the conclusion that her fears were reasonable.

    Those who don't hear the evidence should not comment on the verdict. The whole point of a jury is to watch the witnesses as they testify, judge the meaning of the evidence and the demeanor of the witnesses. Obviously, the jury believed both individually and as a whole that Oliver was truthful in her testimony to come to the not guilty verdict because she was defending herself.

    Few, if any, of the people who commented, the prosecutor, the defense attorneys, or the jury were present when the incident took place. Those who criticize the jury should remember that they get the best evidence of what took place, they hear the witnesses, and they judge by their demeanor the witnesses truthfulness. Those not at the trial are just spouting uninformed decisions based on what the newspapers choose to report.

    ReplyDelete

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