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3rd-degree murder conviction in ride-share passenger slaying

October 30, 2017

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A ride-share van passenger has been convicted of third-degree murder in the shooting death of a man outside a Pittsburgh club earlier this year.

Jurors deliberated for about four hours Monday following closing arguments in the case against 38-year-old Derek Vasos. He will be sentenced Jan. 25.

Vasos testified last week that he was “scared to death” when he shot 28-year-old Donald Ketter Jr. early on Feb. 5 outside the Carrick Literary Club. He said Ketter appeared to be in a rage and seemed to have something in his hands.

Defense attorney Phil DiLucente argued that the shooting was self-defense even if his client’s fears were mistaken. But Allegheny County Assistant District Attorney Edward Scheid called the self-defense argument “meritless” and told jurors that premeditation can form in an instant.

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