Pittsburgh-area official's husband not guilty in Detroit hotel incident
Detroit – Jurors acquitted a Pittsburgh man on charges of disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace Monday in 36th District Court, after a disturbance last March in the Westin Book Cadillac hotel and outside on Washington Boulevard.
Deliberating for about 40 minutes, they jurors found Khari Mosley, 43, the Pennsylvania director of the Blue Green Alliance, a labor and environmental association, not guilty on both charges.
His wife, Chelsa Wagner, the elected controller of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, faces a felony charge of resisting and obstructing police and a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. Wagner, who sat in the courtroom Monday for the closing arguments and the verdicts, is slated for trial in November.
One of Mosley’s lawyers, Charles Longstreet, asserted to the jurors that the prosecution failed to prove some of the elements of both charges, which are required for conviction.
While Mosley used profanity and spoke loudly at times during the 90-minute incident, no proof had been presented that anyone was disturbed, or that Mosley was drunk, Longstreet said.
In testimony Monday before closing arguments, Mosley said he had four or five wines over a several-hour period.
Longstreet told the jurors that police and hotel staff smelling alcohol is no proof of drunkenness.
He argued that what witnesses, law enforcement and the prosecution perceived as disturbing the peace was Mosley asserting his rights.
Mosley testified that all of his behavior, at issue in the trial, was a reasonable reaction to hotel staff not properly attending to his circumstances: a lost key and his name not registered among the guests.
He also said he merely responded to aggressive behavior by hotel security, police detaining him in the back of a cruiser and his concern that he had become suspected of domestic assault and assaulting a security employee.
“I’m frustrated,” he testified, describing his actions under questioning by his lawyer and the prosecutor, Erika Tusar, who repeatedly asserted he was “pissed off.”
“I’m just expressing my bewilderment with the situation. I can’t believe this,” Mosley said at one point during his testimony. “I’ve never been treated like this in my life.
“It was such a confusing situation. I didn’t even know what to think of it.”
Mosley merely demanded to be treated fairly as a customer, the lawyer asserted.
“Shut up and behave is what the government wanted him to do, while he is trying to secure his rights!” Longstreet said, standing before the jurors.
Prosecution witnesses, including hotel employees, security and police, repeatedly described Mosley as confrontational, shouting at them from close range.
Video played during the three-day trial shows him verbally accosting police and hotel staff, as police work to return him to his wife.
Recounting extensive video evidence showing Mosley walking throughout the hotel gesturing, getting close to staff and loudly criticizing hotel staff, police and others, Tusar told the jurors, “He’s being aggressive.
“Whatever way you count it, he was hostile that night,” she said.
Mosley and Wagner declined comment to The Detroit News after the verdict.