Lesser charges sought in Pa. parking lot slaying

WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) — A defense attorney is asking a western Pennsylvania judge to reduce homicide charges in a suburban parking lot shooting last fall that authorities said stemmed from a road rage dispute.

The (Washington) Observer-Reporter (http://bit.ly/14RHhMW ) said attorney Frank Walker told a Washington County judge on Friday that there might be enough evidence for a voluntary manslaughter case but not for first- and second-degree murder.

Thirty-one-year-old Brandon Thomas of Upper St. Clair is charged in the Oct. 18 death of 55-year-old Vaughn Simonelli. Authorities said the two argued in a strip mall parking lot in Washington, Pa., about 20 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, following a minor traffic collision.

Walker has said his client is a decorated veteran who has post-traumatic stress disorder and acted in self-defense, fearing for his life.

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Information from: Observer-Reporter, http://www.observer-reporter.com

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