Jurors deliberate Pa. music church bias case

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A federal jury has begun to deliberations on whether the constitutional rights of a western Pennsylvania religious group were violated during a 2009 drug raid.

The Uniontown Herald-Standard reports that deliberations began Thursday over the Church of Universal Love and Music, which held concerts at a 147-acre farm about 35 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

Fayette County officials didn’t believe the group was a real church, and prosecutors say the concerts were a cover for illegal drug activity.

In closing arguments county defense counsel Marie Jones asked jurors to consider whether law enforcement should have turned a blind eye to drug use when they discovered it.

But church attorney Patrick Emery says the county displayed a pattern of retaliatory behavior toward the church based on its religious expression.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

blog comments powered by Disqus