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  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 17th, 2006
CCinPA CCinPA is offline
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Default PA Senior Judge up on gun charges

Friday, December 15, 2006
By Torsten Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Bellevue district judge accused of carrying a concealed gun without a permit last month was held for trial yesterday despite some inventive arguments from his lawyer.


Rebecca Droke, Post-Gazette
Senior District Judge Donald Presutti, left, leaves Common Pleas Court, Downtown after a preliminary hearing before Judge Lawrence O'Toole yesterday. Judge Presutti was charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a license.
Click photo for larger image.

Police arrested Senior District Judge Donald Presutti, 59, on Nov. 29 at West View Auto Body, where they said he had returned armed with a 9 mm pistol after an earlier altercation with his father-in-law, Earl Quillen.

When Sgt. James Simmons confronted him, Judge Presutti pulled the loaded, cocked handgun from his suit pocket. The sergeant immediately grabbed it from him.

"As soon as I seen it, I said, 'Let me have that,' " said Sgt. Simmons. "The hammer was back when I took it off him, all the way back."

When the sergeant asked if he had a permit to carry, he said the judge replied, "No, why?"

Judge Presutti explained he had the gun because he was afraid of Mr. Quillen, whom he said had earlier swung at him and grabbed him by the neck at the auto body shop.

In trying to get the charges thrown out, his lawyer, Michael Witherel, relied on three arguments to justify carrying the gun.

First, he said Judge Presutti needed the weapon to protect himself from Mr. Quillen. Second, he cited a series of cases based on "hundreds of years of common law" indicating that district judges are "law enforcement officers" and so can carry guns.

And third, he argued that the gun couldn't have been completely concealed in his suit pocket because it wouldn't fit in there -- the handle would stick out.

"To quote the late, great Johnnie Cochran," he told Judge Lawrence O'Toole, " 'If it doesn't fit, you have to acquit.' "

Judge O'Toole praised the lawyer's creativity, noting that many lawyers wouldn't have worked so hard, but ruled that the state has enough evidence to take Judge Presutti to trial.

Police said the incident began when Mr. Quillen, who lives in Florida, visited his hunting camp here and found it trashed. Because Judge Presutti's children had a key to the camp, he blamed the judge.

The two argued at the auto body shop. When police arrived, Mr. Quillen was gone and no one at the shop said they saw anything happen. So police asked the judge if he wanted to file a criminal complaint against Mr. Quillen.

Sgt. Simmons said the judge did not, but that he wanted the incident to be "a matter of record."

The officers left, but a half-hour later, Judge Presutti's wife, Nita, called 911 and said he had returned to their house to get his gun and was headed back to the auto shop. When police confronted him there, he admitted carrying the gun and pulled it from his suit pocket.

Judge Presutti has been suspended from duty pending the outcome of his case.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06349/746337-54.stm
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Old December 17th, 2006
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Default Re: PA Senior Judge up on gun charges

Great, another yahoo making gun owners look like a bunch of village idiots. And to top it all off, he's a JUDGE.
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Old December 17th, 2006
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Default Re: PA Senior Judge up on gun charges

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCinPA View Post
When the sergeant asked if he had a permit to carry, he said the judge replied, "No, why?"
*rolls eyes* and these guys are supposed to know the laws...
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Old December 17th, 2006
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Default Re: PA Senior Judge up on gun charges

A judge should not have to have a license to carry because he is an LEO??????? SINCE WHEN IS A JUDGE AN LEO??? I'd LOVE to see Presutti TRY to arrest someone! This should go in the JOKE forum!!!
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Old December 17th, 2006
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Default Re: PA Senior Judge up on gun charges

He should say the dude at the auto shop stole his Playstation 3. Then all charges would be instantly dropped.
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Old December 18th, 2006
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Default Re: PA Senior Judge up on gun charges

Quote:
Originally Posted by threeonebravo View Post
*rolls eyes* and these guys are supposed to know the laws...
I pray your talking about the police officer there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glock22xd9 View Post
A judge should not have to have a license to carry because he is an LEO??????? SINCE WHEN IS A JUDGE AN LEO??? I'd LOVE to see Presutti TRY to arrest someone! This should go in the JOKE forum!!!
You go to court, and act out of sequence and see just how fast a judge can arrest you. In the legal system, there is the common officer in the field, the detectives, the "brass" then you go to , DA and Judge in rank. In between there, you have the Sheriffs, the coronors and all those nice people who are often not seen as Officers of the Law. Or as we say Law Enforcment Officers. Ultimately, the Judge is the higher one in the food chain there and can by his rank in most states carry concealed. As a mater of fact, there are states that have laws that permit the imediate family of a judge to also carry for self defence. As always, the news article is a bit off skew but from what i have read of it, the Police asked the Judge if he had a gun on him concealed. The Judge then said yes and produced it, yes he is allowed to carry, wether the common police knows it or not, thats an other matter. WHat gets me is the gun was not registered in his name. The last paperwork came up to some one who sold the gun to a person he has no records of.
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Old December 18th, 2006
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Default Re: PA Senior Judge up on gun charges

no I was referring to the judge's ignorance. In this state (as this comes from) as far as I know (correct me if i'm wrong) he is not exempt from needing that license to carry.
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Old December 18th, 2006
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Default Re: PA Senior Judge up on gun charges

Quote:
Originally Posted by threeonebravo View Post
no I was referring to the judge's ignorance. In this state (as this comes from) as far as I know (correct me if i'm wrong) he is not exempt from needing that license to carry.
Well this will probably be the case that will determine if Judge is an LEO who can carry without a permit. My guess is probably not because I know in my little podunk town no officer may carry without qualifying a minimum of every 6 months. (I would bet this Judge has never been to a qualification.) Badge or no badge he must pass qualification. This is the reason many LEO's also hold a PA carry permit. I also know a Luzerne County Judge who also hold PA carry permit I would bet he has one because he knows something that this other judge rather ignore.
Also what hurts his case is he had returned armed after having an earlier confrontation at the auto body shop. Not a good move.
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Old December 18th, 2006
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Default Re: PA Senior Judge up on gun charges

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
I pray your talking about the police officer there?


You go to court, and act out of sequence and see just how fast a judge can arrest you. In the legal system, there is the common officer in the field, the detectives, the "brass" then you go to , DA and Judge in rank. In between there, you have the Sheriffs, the coronors and all those nice people who are often not seen as Officers of the Law. Or as we say Law Enforcment Officers. Ultimately, the Judge is the higher one in the food chain there and can by his rank in most states carry concealed. As a mater of fact, there are states that have laws that permit the imediate family of a judge to also carry for self defence. As always, the news article is a bit off skew but from what i have read of it, the Police asked the Judge if he had a gun on him concealed. The Judge then said yes and produced it, yes he is allowed to carry, wether the common police knows it or not, thats an other matter. WHat gets me is the gun was not registered in his name. The last paperwork came up to some one who sold the gun to a person he has no records of.

LOL a judge cannot arrest you only order your arrest, a cop has to perform the arrest itself, but I understand what you're saying. He can sort of arrest you. Perhaps there is some nuance I'm missing, if so please post it, would love to read how we have no seperation of powers

Last edited by exceltoexcel : December 18th, 2006 at 08:31 AM.
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Old December 18th, 2006
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Default Re: PA Senior Judge up on gun charges

Quote:
Originally Posted by exceltoexcel View Post
LOL a judge cannot arrest you only order your arrest, a cop has to perform the arrest itself, but I understand what you're saying. He can sort of arrest you. Perhaps there is some nuance I'm missing, if so please post it, would love to read how we have no seperation of powers
The judge has the power to order your arrest; he is a justice of the peace, unless pronounced otherwise, therefore a peace officer.

The fact that a marshal or bailiff does the actual taking away does not mean he is not a law officer, a judge works for/within the department of Justice. The fact he does not qualify with a firearm as some one stated in the thread is not relevant as his primary duties are not the same as a police officer.

P.S. when it comes to arrest you should also know there are arrest levels all the way down to your powers to arrest some one. This is called the Citizens arrest. http://www.constitution.org/grossack/arrest.htm

When I was much younger, and in Florida, the schools actually had classes on a “citizens” duty, and in that order of words, "citizen" does not necessarily mean US citizen but any person who happens by at the moment of a crime. In Quebec the same law applies and is called “Bon Pere de Famille” good father law or good Samaritan law. Too bad these laws no longer seem to live anywhere.
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The choice is yours, place your faith in the court system and 12 of your peers, or carried away by 6 friends.

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Last edited by Frenchy : December 18th, 2006 at 09:53 AM.
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