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October 1, 2015

Trial rescheduled in stalker/burglary case

The September trial of Pitt-Greensburg graduate Mustafa Al-Gasas, who was charged with stalking Greensburg campus biology faculty member Kerry Holzworth and burglarizing his Pittsburgh home, has been delayed until Nov. 23. The defense is attempting to qualify Al-Gasas for Allegheny County’s Mental Health Court, according to a court official.

Mental Health Court, begun in 2001, allows those with non-violent criminal charges and mental health diagnoses to have greater access to treatment and services in the community. It lets those sentenced to incarceration be released to a mental health treatment facility instead of doing jail time, and receive special services while on probation.

Al-Gasas, 23, of Stanton Heights, was arrested for the Jan. 16 burglary in Brookline after turning himself in on Jan. 23. He had been charged with burglary, stalking and two counts of theft by unlawful taking.

Earlier this year, a Greensburg campus spokesperson said Al-Gasas’ backpack, found in Holzworth’s home, and other evidence at the scene identified potential targets beyond Holzworth. These people were notified, but the spokesperson did not confirm whether other UPG faculty members were among this group.

—Marty Levine  

Filed under: Feature,Volume 48 Issue 3

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