Homicide charges against an 18-year-old Center Twp. man accused of killing his brother were dismissed Monday after a preliminary hearing held in the case.
Beaver County District Judge Edward C. Howe dismissed charges against Michael Allen J. Barbuto, 18, of Center Township, who was arrested by Hopewell Twp. police for the July 15 shooting of his brother, Vincent Shawn Barbuto.
The dismissal came after the brothers’ mother, Michelle Barbuto, refused to testify after being subpoenaed by the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office to appear.
In a charging affidavit filed in the case, investigators wrote that Michelle Barbuto told them that Michael Barbuto had utilized her vehicle on July 15 between approximately (4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.), the time-frame investigators believed the homicide had occurred. Prosecutors had expected her testimony to reflect that.
After the woman told Howe she was refusing to testify, prosecutors asked the judge to hold her in contempt of court. Howe said a contempt hearing would have to be held — a date for that hearing has not yet been set.