Last updated: February 22. 2014 10:37PM - 3130 Views
By - tkellar@timesleader.com

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Three recent homicides defendants in Luzerne County have argued self defense:

Kathleen Jordan, 47, was charged in the deadly shooting of her boyfriend, Milo Vincent Reilly, 45, in March 2011.

Jordan allegedly told investigators she left her Pringle house after an argument with Reilly. She said she returned later that night and had to smash a window to get in, where the couple continued to argue.

Kingston police had charged Reilly with assaulting Jordan during a domestic dispute at the home in December.

Reilly was on a bed, Jordan told investigators, when she reached into a closet and grabbed a loaded shotgun that she fired at his head, according to the affidavit. Jordan later described for investigators how she tried to clean up the blood and drank a beer before running to her sister’s home in Luzerne, where police were called.

Outcome: Jordan pleaded guilty last February to a third-degree murder charge and was sentenced to 14 to 28 years in prison.

Shauntae Thomas, 36, was charged in the fatal shooting of Derrick Cottle, 40, in front of 77 Reno Lane just before 7:30 p.m. on April 25, 2013.

Investigators say Thomas’ teenage son and Cottle’s teenage son, whose names were not released, were involved in two fights prior to the deadly shooting. That was quickly followed with Thomas allegedly firing a 9mm handgun, striking Cottle twice in the head. An autopsy by forensic pathologist Dr. Gary Ross at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital showed Cottle, of New Hancock Street, Wilkes-Barre, died from multiple gunshots. His death was ruled a homicide.

One of Thomas’ attorneys, Peter Moses, argued that his client’s actions were out of self defense after Thomas was overcome with “intense emotion” by seeing his son “savagely beaten by Cottle and his gang.”

Case Status: Thomas pleaded not guilty to an open count of criminal homicide and is currently awaiting trial. He is still detained at the Luzerne County Prison.

Brian Leonard Pavia, 39, of Union Street, Plains Township, was charged in the deadly shooting of John Henry Dulsky outside the law office on Wyoming Avenue just before 7 p.m. on Dec. 19. According to police, both men had done contract work for the law office.

Pavia arrived at the scene to pick up a snowblower, where he did not expect to see Dulsky. Pavia told police that Dulsky punched him, when according to police, Pavia fired a .380 caliber pistol at Dulsky. Dulsky, who was unarmed, was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering two gunshot wounds.

Pavia’s attorneys Frank Nocito and Joseph Nocito say their client acted in self defense after being pummeled in the face by Dulsky.

Case status: District Judge David Barilla sent the open count of criminal homicide to Luzerne County Court on Jan. 22. Pavia remains jailed without bail at Luzerne County Prison.

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