Man shot by Wilkinsburg Police denied motion to proceed as his own attorney

Matt Glover

Common Pleas Court Judge Randal Todd denied Todd Robinson’s motion to proceed to trial as his own attorney in a 10-minute hearing Wednesday morning. Todd explained that should Robinson proceed to represent himself, he would be held to the same standard as a lawyer who had been admitted into the bar and trained in the law.

Wilkinsburg Police Officer Christopher Duncan shot Robinson in a McDonald’s parking lot after he was cited with a parking ticket. After Sgt. Matthew Morrison and Duncan let Robinson go, a background check showed Robinson had failed to return to a halfway house which was a condition of his parole. The officers went searching for Robinson. After some time, they found him leaving the McDonald’s on Penn Avenue.  Robinson was shot in the arm while trying to flee the officers.

No trial date was set, but Assistant District Attorney Matthew Newman, when asked by the Judge, said he estimated the trial would take about four days. 

Read our award-winning investigation into Robinson’s case here: ‘It started with a parking ticket and ended with a police shooting. Four years later, the defendant has yet to go to trial’

Robinson’s attorney Lisle Weaver visited him at the Allegheny County Jail on Monday to view video footage from a nearby GetGo that shows the scene Duncan shooting Robinson in a McDonald’s parking lot. Weaver is an associate of Thomas Farrell, who is the Criminal Justice Act attorney appointed to represent Robinson in this case.

Robinson asked for the video to be released to the public, and Newman said it would be played in trial and become part of the record. 

Story by Matt Glover, a Pittsburgh Media Partnership editorial intern. He is a senior at Slippery Rock University.