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Two Students Charged in Slegehammer Beating of Teacher

November 28, 1996

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Two students attacked their auto mechanics teacher with a sledgehammer in a robbery after class, probably knowing he carried large amounts of cash, police said.

``Basically it was a planned robbery,″ School Safety Chief Robert Fadzen Jr. said Wednesday.

Jack Cotter, a popular teacher at Brashear High School, was found slumped against a wall and bleeding from a gash in his skull Tuesday. A bloody, three-pound hammer lay close by.

Cotter was listed in serious condition Thursday at Mercy Hospital.

John Lane, 16, and Christopher Brown, 17, were charged as adults with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, robbery and criminal conspiracy.

Police said Cotter was carrying at least $5,000. Officials said it was known he carried cash to pay for auto parts used in school projects.

A shop teacher since 1970, he also has a small commercial garage in West Homestead.

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