In State Superior Court today, Indiana County Assistant District Attorney Gina Ryen Force will argue for the reinstatement of the homicide case against Brady DiStefano, a 21-year-old Johnstown man originally charged in the death of an IUP fraternity brother after the two fought each other in February of last year.
President Judge William Martin dismissed the charges against DiStefano during a motions hearing last November, ruling that District Attorney Pat Dougherty had not presented sufficient evidence to justify continuing the case. Dougherty was prepared to pursue a conviction for third degree murder.
DiStefano was charged with criminal homicide and aggravated assault after the death of 20-year-old Caleb Zweig of Rockville, Maryland. He died at the Indiana Regional Medical Center hours after fighting with DiStefano, whom a bystander pulled off of Zweig in the 800 block of Wayne Avenue. The witness said DiStefano was choking the unconscious victim. DiStefano later told police that Zweig had pulled him to the ground.
DiStefano was first charged with aggravated assault, but Dougherty filed the criminal homicide charge against him after the autopsy results established the cause of death as asphyxiation due to strangulation.