Family and friends of homicide victim Marshawn Ptomey are calling on Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Manning to reverse his decision to release confessed shooter Destiny Brown to house arrest.
At an Oct. 15 rally outside the county courthouse, family members said they’d never heard of a confessed murderer being released to go to school. She is White. Ptomey was Black.
|OUTRAGE—Family and friends of slain Marshwn Ptomey call on Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Manning to reverse his order releasing his killer from jail, saying her race, White, is a factor. (Photo by J.L. Martello.)
“She’ll be a threat to the community and to the school she attends,” said Ptomey’s sister Sonya Smith. “They have schooling in jail. She never attended school before she murdered my brother. I’ve never heard of that.”
On May 24, Ptomey, a former standout football player at Sto-Rox High School got into a confrontation with a friend of Brown’s in McKees Rocks. She told detectives she was shoved to the ground and when she got up saw the two fighting and shot Ptomey.
Noting Ptomey was shot in the back of the head, family members said Brown executed him. His father, Perry Tillman said a Black shooter would never have been released, at least not by Manning.
“What’s the difference,” Tillman said. “I’m just going to put it out there. It’s the color of our skin—that’s the difference. Judge Manning has let it be known in the past that he is not a friend of Black people.”
During an ethics investigation in 1997, Manning admitted he had been drinking on two occasions when he referred to two different Black women as “n—rs,” once during a Christmas party in 1993, and again at the Pittsburgh International Airport in 1995.
“One of the first things he said in court was he’d never heard of the case. If I could speak to him right now, I’d say you have broken my heart and given me injustice,” said Ptomey’s mother Theresa Hodby. “You’ve put a murderer back out here. She has my blood on her hands. I think the judge needs to step down.”
Courier photographer J.L. Martello contributed to this story.