The murder trial of Kevin Doolin, a member of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, was postponed today. The trial was continued until August 30 because a police officer who is expected to be a key prosecution witness is on vacation.
Doolin was one of four Pagans charged with the murder of Albert Kolano (photo above), a 33-year-old father of two, outside the Longview Lounge in North Versailles, Pennsylvania on March 12, 2009. According to police accounts there were “15 – 20” Pagans inside the Longview Lounge when Kolano entered. The cause of the altercation between Kolano and the four Pagans is under dispute. At the time of the murder several sources said the argument began over the music playing on the jukebox.
Kolano called his brother, Anthony, and asked him to come to his aide. Someone at the bar also called the police. Reportedly, after his brother arrived, with no police in sight, the four Pagans followed Kolano out of the bar when he tried to leave at about 1:30 am. The other Pagans were Bryan Perun, John Miller and Nathaniel Robinson.
After an ugly confrontation in the parking lot, Kolano tried to drive away and, according to police, was shot twice by Doolin.
Kolano drove a short distance before drifting off the road and crashing into a tree. When police approached the vehicle they discovered that Kolano had been shot in the chest. He was taken to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and pronounced dead an hour and a half after the shooting.
All four men were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and that charge was eventually dropped. Perun, a former Pittsburgh police officer, was charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment for allegedly vandalizing Anthony Kolano’s car with a knife and shooting at him. Perun was tried and found not guilty in October 2011.
The charges against Doolin were dismissed by Judge John K. Reilly Jr. in June 2010.
Judge Reilly dismissed the murder charge after it became known that an alleged police informant was in the bar when Kolano was killed. The informant, who has not been named, was attempting to gather evidence of drug dealing by members of the motorcycle club.
Reportedly, the informant told prosecutors that Doolin was not guilty but that he would only testify if he was given immunity. Under Pennsylvania law, only a prosecutor can grant a witness immunity and in this case prosecutors refused because, they argued, the confidential informant “was not credible” and was a member of the Pagans, a known drug dealer, and because his account of the murder was inconsistent with the statements of other witnesses.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reinstated the murder charge against Doolin in July 2010.
The Witness And The Pagans
Doolin was released on $400,000 bond with electronic monitoring in September 2010. His bond was revoked in May 2012 after police learned that Doolin had violated the terms of his release by attending a Pittsburgh Steelers football game.
Last month Doolin’s lawyer, Lee Rothman, asked the current judge in the case, Anthony M. Mariani, to issue a material witness warrant for the confidential informant. In that motion Rothman called the informant a “crucial exculpatory witness.”
Mariani issued the warrant June 22. So far, Doolin’s defense has been unable to find the witness.
Assistant District Attorney Lisa Pellegrini also asked the judge today that she be allowed to essentially put the Pagans Motorcycle Club on trial during Doolin’s trial. Her motion would allow her to present jurors with allegations of the club’s criminality. Judge Mariani will hold a hearing on that motion August 24.