Guide to the Proceedings of the Allegheny County (Pa.) Office of the Coroner's Open Inquest into the death of Jonny Gammage, 1995 AIS.2012.08

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Proceedings of the Allegheny County (Pa.) Office of the Coroner's Open Inquest into the death of Jonny Gammage
Creator
Allegheny County (Pa.). Coroner's Office.
Collection Number
AIS.2012.08
Date
1995
Extent
0.85 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract
This collection consists entirely of the transcription of the Coroner's Inquest into the death of Jonny Gammage. This case was covered by the media around the United States because the death of Jonny Gammage occurred during a traffic stop where members of law enforcement were accused of brutality leading to death. Thirty-seven individuals were called to testify during the inquest.

Preferred Citation

Proceedings of the Allegheny County (Pa.) Office of the Coroner's Open Inquest into the death of Jonny Gammage, 1995, AIS.2012.08, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

On October 12, 1995 police officers from Brentwood, Baldwin and Whitehall in the South Hills of Pittsburgh stopped motorist Jonny Gammage, who was driving a Jaguar on Route 51, just inside the city limits of Pittsburgh. Within minutes of the vehicle being pulled over, an altercation between the officers and Gammage took place, with Gammage being restrained and forced to the ground. Gammage died at the scene.

From November 1-3, 1995, the Allegheny County Coroner’s office conducted an inquest into the death of Mr. Gammage. The jury at the inquest ruled that homicide charges should be brought against the five officers involved in the restraint of Gammage. The officers were: Milton Mullholland (Brentwood Police), John Vojtas (Brentwood Police), Michael Albert (Baldwin Police), Keith Henderson (Whitehall Police) and Shawn Patterson (Whitehall Police). Ultimately, District Attorney Robert Colville chose to file involuntary manslaughter charges against Mullholland, Albert and Vojtas. Mullholland and Albert were tried together and their first trial ended in a mistrial and a second trial ended with the jury deadlocked. Vojtas’ was tried separately and found not guilty.

Jonny Gammage, an African-American, was visiting his cousin Ray Seals, Jr., in Pittsburgh. Seals played in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers at the time. Both Gammage and Seals had been born and reared in Syracuse, NY, and had maintained a close relationship throughout their lives. While in Pittsburgh, Seals loaned his Jaguar to Gammage to drive.

The Gammage case ignited the Pittsburgh region with controversy. Accusations of racism and police brutality were made. There was wide spread national media coverage of this case and it became the subject of several song lyrics and a play. The incident was also one of the impetuses for creation of a Citizens Police Review Board in the City of Pittsburgh.

University of Pittsburgh Professor Attilio “Buck” Favorini is an award winning playwright who wrote “The Gammage Project,” based on the events of October 12, 1995. The transcription of the coroner’s inquest found here are from Favorini and was used by him during his research on the case.

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Scope and Content Notes

Included in this collection is the 844 page transcription of the Proceedings of the Coroner's Inquest into the death of Jonny Gammage. Arthur G. Gilkes, Deputy Coroner for Allegheny County was presiding, with Christopher Conrad, Assistant District Attorney for the Commonwealth, Robert Colville, District Attorney and Jim Gregrich, Acting Coroner, examining the witnesses. The transcription was completed by Karen A. Nickel, Registered Professional Reporter for the Nickel Reporting Service of Pittsburgh and Wheeling. Thirty-seven individuals were called to testify during the three day hearing.

Below is an index to individual testimony provided during the hearing:

Albert, Michael George (Officer, Baldwin Police)—p. 235-279

Babish, Wayne (Chief of Police, Brentwood)—p. 816-842

Brennan, Richard (Resident, Bethel Park)—p. 511-539

Bunting, Steven (American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers)—p. 765-804

Cenci, Todd (Officer, Pittsburgh Police)—p.588-595

Cox, Gary (Supervisor, Brentwood EMS)—p. 488-499

Dent, Jerome (Officer, Pittsburgh Police)—p. 642-650

Dison, Nancy (Volunteer, Brentwood EMS)—p. 410-421

Fleming, James (Officer, Baldwin Police)—p. 342-394

Fox, Matt (Emergency Medical Technician, ??)—p. 421-437

Frank, Dr. Leonard (Resident Physician, University of Pittsburgh)—p. 472-488

Grafenstaff, Edward (Lawyer, Whitehall)—p. 565-572

Hahn, Dennis (Criminalist & Drug Chemist, Allegheny County Crime Lab)—p. 676-690

Henderson, Keith B. (Sergeant, Whitehall Police)—p. 103-164

Holiday, John E. (Resident, Greensburg)—p.582-588

Kupez, Kevin A. (Resident, Baldwin)—p. 572-575

Kramer, Doris Jean (Dispatcher, Brentwood Police)—p. 437-461

Lattner, Regis (Officer, Pittsburgh Police)—p. 606-618

May, Ronald (Sergeant, Pittsburgh Police)—p. 813-816

Mazon, Dennis (Resident, Crafton)—p. 545-565

Miller, John (Resident, South Side of Pittsburgh)—p. 539-545

Morgan, Richard (Resident, Baldwin)—p. 499-511

Mulholland, Milton E. (Lieutenant, Brentwood Police)—p. 7-103

Patterson, Shawn (Officer, Whitehall Police)—p. 282-342

Payne, John A. (Resident, Duquesne)—p.575-582

Retsch, James (Sergeant, Pittsburgh Police)—p. 627-633

Rogowski, Henry A. (Officer, Pittsburgh Police)—p.595-606

Ross, Keith (Officer, Pittsburgh Police)—p. 650-668

Rudd, Christopher (Paramedic, Baldwin EMS)—p. 461-472

Rudic, Steven (Paramedic, Brentwood EMS)—p. 394-410

Seals, Raymond B. (Cousin of Jonny Gammage & Player, Pittsburgh Steelers)—p. 618-625

Seals, Thomas M. (Father of Raymond, Uncle of Jonny Gammage & Officer, Syracuse (NY) Police)—p.808-813

Shakir, Dr. Abdulrezak Mosa (Forensic Pathologist, Allegheny County Coroner’s Office)—p.690-765 & 804-808

Uva, Nicholas (Officer, Pittsburgh Police)—p.633-642

Vojtas, John (Officer, Brentwood Police)—p. 164-235

Wecht, Dr. Cyril (Physician, Forensic Pathologist, and Attorney )—p.745-765

Wright, Sylvester (Officer, Pittsburgh Police)—p. 668-676

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Arrangement

The transcription of the testimony given at the Coroner's Inquest is arranged in three series, one series for each day of testimony.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, June 2013

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

No copyright restrictions.

Custodial History

Wayne Babish, who was Police Chief of Brentwood at the time of the Gammage incident, originally acquired the records. He subsequently gave them to Attilio Favorini.

Acquisition Information

Gift from Dr. Attilio "Buck" Favorini to the Archives Service Center in January 2012.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David R. Grinnell in May 2013.

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Related Materials

Related Material

In the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Criminal Division, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vs. Milton Mulholland and Michael G. Albert, defendants [electronic resource] : proceedings [of] jury trial. One CD-ROM located in the AIS library with the call number: KF244.G36 P463 1996.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Allegheny County (Pa.). Coroner's Office.

Genre(s)

  • Judicial records
  • Testimonies
  • Transcripts

Personal Name(s)

  • Albert, Michael G.
  • Colville, Robert E.
  • Conrad, W. Christopher
  • Gammage, Jonny E., 1964-1995
  • Henderson, Keith
  • Mullholland, Milton
  • Patterson, Shawn
  • Vojtas, John
  • Wecht, Cyril H., 1931-

Subject(s)

  • African Americans -- Crimes against -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County
  • Criminal investigation -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County
  • Ethnic groups
  • Forensic investigations -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County
  • Government
  • Health and medicine
  • Medical examiners (Law) -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County
  • Police brutality -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County
  • Police misconduct -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County
  • Racial profiling in law enforcement -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County

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Previous Citation

Proceedings of the Allegheny County (Pa.) Office of the Coroner's Open Inquest into the death of Jonny Gammage, 1995, AIS.2012.08, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Testimony on November 1, 1995 

  BoxFolder
Pages 1-49 11
  Folder
Pages 50-99 2
  Folder
Pages 100-149 3
  Folder
Pages 150-199 4
  Folder
Pages 200-249 5
  Folder
Pages 250-280 6

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Series  II. Testimony on November 2, 1995 

  BoxFolder
Pages 281-299 17
  Folder
Pages 300-349 8
  Folder
Pages 350-399 9
  Folder
Pages 400-449 10
  Folder
Pages 450-499 11
  Folder
Pages 500-549 12
  Folder
Pages 550-599 13
  Folder
Pages 600-625 14

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Series  III. Testimony on November 3, 1995 

  BoxFolder
Pages 626-649 115
  Folder
Pages 650-699 16
  Folder
Pages 700-749 17
  Folder
Pages 750-798 [p. 799 missing] 18
  Folder
Pages 800-842 19

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