Posted by Curt on 20 December, 2005 at 12:04 pm. Be the first to comment!

The trooper killed last week during a traffic stop was laid to rest last Friday:

Slain Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Joseph Pokorny was buried Friday, honored as a hero by 2,000 police officers from across the country and with the silent tributes of neighbors who stood in a blinding snowstorm, their hands over their hearts, as his funeral procession passed.

Mourners struggled to make sense of Pokorny’s death, speaking to a throng that included his children, Jake 17, and Ali, 15, who sat with their grandparents, Florence and Joseph R. Pokorny, in the front row of the church.

“He was part of the thin line of people who serve the law,” Pittsburgh Bishop Donald Wuerl told Pokorny’s children during a 90-minute funeral Mass at St. Frances Cabrini Church in Center Township, Beaver County. “He did something important.”

[…]Gov. Ed Rendell, state Attorney General Tom Corbett and Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. attended the Mass. An overflow area in the church hall quickly filled, forcing many officers to listen from the parking lot. Some police officers knelt in the hallway of the church; others crowded around the main entrance to see into the sanctuary.

“It is indeed a sad day,” Rendell said.

Trooper Chris Callaghan, who worked with Pokorny at the Moon barracks, gave the eulogy, struggling to keep his composure.

“He served with honor, courage and dignity. Now it’s time for him to rest,” said Callaghan, who choked back emotion several times.

“He was our brother, our friend and my corporal,” Callaghan said, wiping away tears.

The Rev. Joseph Kleppner, pastor at St. Frances, remembered Pokorny as a “father, son, state trooper and friend.”

“The greatest among us is not the one who rules or dominates, but those who serve,” he said.

He told Pokorny’s children their father’s life and death would show them what is really important.

“What really counts?” Kleppner said. “In the way he lived and the way he died … he helped us find answers to those questions.”

Callaghan promised the children that their father’s state police colleagues will help them deal with their loss.

“This Christmas will be the most difficult, but Joe lives in all of you,” he said. “We’ll be with you. We are here in your time of need, I swear,” he said.

There were few dry eyes when Officer James Markel of the Monroeville Police Department sang the song “Danny Boy” a cappella, near the end of the Mass.

[…]Police cruisers started arriving about 7:15 a.m., said Jeanne Johnson, whose home on Shadyside Drive is adjacent to the church.

“This world is an evil place. They try to protect us and wind up dead,” she said.

Neighbor Mary Ann Ranieri said she got emotional when she saw the cars come down her street with their lights on.

“It’s really sad,” she said.

So many police officers attended the funeral service that township police were forced to close more roads than they had expected to allow the funeral procession to pass.

[…]Following the service, a motorcade consisting of hundreds of cars slowly made its way along Brodhead Road to the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Hopewell.

Small groups of people lined the road, carrying flags, or with their hands over their hearts. Firefighters saluted as the procession passed. At one spot, ladders extended from two fire trucks crossed in mid-air, with an American flag hanging from the top. Several businesses placed signs that said: “In memory of Joe Pokorny” and “God Bless Joe.”

At the cemetery, a bugler played “Taps,” and a bagpiper played “Amazing Grace.” An honor guard fired a 21-gun salute.

His children, Alexandra, 15, and Joseph, 17 — watch as their father’s casket is placed into the hearse.

The only new news is the fact that the killer’s girlfriend has waived her right to a Preliminary hearing:

A woman accused of misleading police investigating the fatal shooting of a state trooper waived her right to a preliminary hearing on Tuesday.

Police contend Charise Cheatom misled them about the whereabouts of her car and a man police eventually charged with the shooting.

Cpl. Joseph Pokorny, 45, of Moon Township, was shot Dec. 12 after an early morning police chase ended in Carnegie, just off Interstate 279.

Police questioned Cheatom a few hours after the shooting because Pokorny had been chasing her car, although she isn’t accused of being in the car or otherwise involved in Pokorny’s death.

Cheatom, 23, and the shooting suspect, Leslie D. Mollett, 30, formerly of Mount Oliver, were arrested by police at Cheatom’s apartment about 11 hours after the shooting.

Cheatom didn’t comment before or after Tuesday’s court appearance.

She remained free on bond on two counts of hindering apprehension and one count of false reports to law enforcement. Her attorney, Angela Carsia, said only that Cheatom now faces a formal arraignment and her case will continue to Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

And the other occupants in the car have been named:

It is now known that 29-year-old Phillip Andrew Peterson and 28-year-old Jabbar Odell James were passengers in the Mercury Sable.

The vehicle was allegedly driven by 30-year-old Leslie Mollett, the man now charged with the shooting death of Cpl. Joseph Pokorny.

Peterson’s attorney told Channel 11 that the three men had been at a nightclub in the strip district Saturday.

The attorney said the three left together and that Peterson thought Mollet was driving him home.

Allegedly they wound up on the Parkway West, and according to the attorney headed to the Extended Stay America hotel, where another acquaintance – 21-year-old Andrew Palmer – had rented a room.

Police later located heroin in the room and arrested and charged Palmer.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Mollet, Pokorny spotted the Mercury Sable speeding on the Parkway West and began a pursuit.

It ended near the hotel parking lot when the driver crashed into the curb.

Peterson told investigators that when the trooper approached the vehicle, Mollett became verbally combative and refused to comply with his request.

Mollett said the trooper began using pepper spray and Mollett grabbed the trooper’s arm.

At that time, according to Peterson’s attorney, Peterson and James took off on foot.

According to the complaint, Peterson and James heard gunshots as they were fleeing from the scene.

Also according to the complaint, Mollett then called Peterson on a cell phone and said that the officer, “Got three to the head.”

Peterson told police he received a second call from Mollett asking him to go back to the scene and retrieve his Glock handgun, but he refused.


Update On The Murder Of Trooper Joe Pokorny
Trooper Killed In Pennsylvania

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