Army Veteran Acquitted in Shooting Death Files Lawsuit

An Army veteran acquitted in the shooting death of another western Pennsylvania motorist following a road-rage dispute has filed a federal lawsuit against police, prosecutors and the city.

Thirty-two-year-old Brandon Thomas of Upper St. Clair alleges that he was the victim of malicious prosecution, false arrest, reckless investigation and other misconduct by police and prosecutors in Washington, Pennsylvania.

Jurors in May acquitted him of murder and manslaughter charges in the October 2012 shooting of 55-year-old Vaughn Simonelli.

Thomas, who earned three Purple Hearts in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he has post-traumatic stress disorder and fired in self-defense.

His attorney, Frank Walker, alleged that officials "knew from the very beginning" that his client had not committed any crime.

District Attorney Eugene Vittone and Mayor Brenda Davis declined comment on the suit.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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