By Brendan Maher
On Monday, Feb. 3, you may have noticed the presence of a Channel 4 News vehicle parked outside of Alfred Hall. Curiosity, as it is a part of human nature, was piqued within many on campus.
The reason for the news channel’s presence, as it turns out, is not at all uncommon: Channel 4 was seeking an interview from Saint Vincent Law Professor, Bruce Antkowiak, who is the head of the criminology department, as well as legal counsel to the College and Archabbey.
Antkowiak, who graduated Saint Vincent in 1974 and magna cum laude from Harvard in 1977, has had many roles in the criminal justice system, including serving as a federal prosecutor, and as a criminal defense attorney.
Simply entering his name into a search engine will present you with a considerable list of cases on which he has been asked to comment.
“I am most honored that people think to call me for comment, and I am glad to do it so that the Saint Vincent College name is sent out to the community in a positive context,” Antkowiak stated.
The particular case which he was interviewed about on Feb. 3 concerned a mass shooting that occurred in 2016. Two men were arrested and charged in connection to a shooting which took place at a barbecue in Wilkinsburg, PA.
Cheron Shelton, 33, and Robert Thomas, 31, stood accused of killing five adults as well as one unborn baby.
"I am most honored that people think to call me for comment, and I am glad to do it so that the Saint Vincent College name is sent out to the community in a positive context." - Bruce Antkowiak
On Monday, Feb. 3, the same day as Antkowiak’s interview, all charges against Robert Thomas in connection to the mass shooting were dropped after the District Attorney’s Office agreed that one of their key witnesses against Thomas was not credible.
10 days after Antkowiak’s interview, on Feb. 14th, Cheron Shelton was found not guilty on all charges. Had Shelton been convicted, he would have to face the possibility of the death penalty.