Jury selection for road rage homicide trial to start Monday

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Jury selection for the homicide trial of an Upper St. Clair man accused of shooting a man to death following a road rage incident in Washington will start Monday.


Brandon Thomas, 31, is scheduled to appear in Washington County Court for the start of jury selection. Thomas is accused of killing Vaughn Simonelli, 55, of Washington, while in the Shop ’n Save parking lot in Washington on Oct. 18, 2012, after an apparent road rage incident between the two. Washington police said Thomas shot Simonelli twice, killing him with a bullet to the neck.


Testimony in the trial is scheduled to begin May 12.


Thomas’ attorney, Frank Walker II, declined to comment about his plans for a defense, other than saying he was prepared.


“We look forward to a fair trial and outcome,” he said. “He had an absolute right to self-defense.”


Thomas, a decorated Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has remained in Washington County jail since his arrest. He faces a felony criminal homicide charge and three misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia charges.


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