Release or set bail for Brandon Thomas
  • Petitioned Gene Vittone - Washington County, PA, District Attorney

This petition was delivered to:

Gene Vittone - Washington County, PA, District Attorney

Release or set bail for Brandon Thomas

    1. Sally Van Gysel
    2. Petition by

      Sally Van Gysel

      McDonald, PA

  1.  
  2.   

Ref:  http://www.observer-reporter.com/article/20121024/NEWS01/121029643/ “Thomas, who received three Purple Hearts for injuries he suffered to his head, shin and thigh while serving tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, admitted to Washington police he shot Vaughn Simonelli, 55, of Washington, twice in the chest after the man blocked in his vehicle and punched him while he sat in his 2006 GMC Hummer Oct. 18 in the parking lot of Shop ’n Save in Washington.” Verified by witnesses at the scene.
He (sic:Thomas) also has a “Bronze Medal of Valor”.

Ref: http://www.observer-reporter.com/article/20121019/NEWS01/121019268/
“Court records show Simonelli had a criminal history. In 1990, he was charged with aggravated assault and other related offenses and was sentenced to 24 months’ probation. More recently, Simonelli was arrested in 2010 for violating a protection-from-abuse order (PFA).”

There are more links for the observer-reporter, Pittsburgh Tribune, and CBS local.

Point is, in addition to his wife and 3 kids suffering though this, I can imagine Thomas will lose a job he was suppose to start this week due to confinement.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. NOT GUILTY!

      Sally Van Gysel
      Petition Organizer
      Thomas not guilty of homicide in road rage death

      A Washington County jury deliberated for less than three hours before finding an ex-soldier not guilty of homicide in the road rage shooting death of a Washington man. Brandon Thomas, 32, of Upper St. Clair was acquitted in the October 2012 shooting death of 55-year-old Vaughn Simonelli in the parking lot of the Shop 'n Save supermarket in Washington.

    2. Testimony begins in ex-soldier’s homicide trial

      Sally Van Gysel
      Petition Organizer

      Originally Published May 12, 2014 at 1:07 pm in the Observer-Reporter.
      Clad in a dark suit, Brandon Thomas stared intently in Washington County Judge Katherine Emery’s courtroom. Fidgety at times and stoic at others, Thomas watched each of the first six witnesses testify in his case.

    3. Testimony begins in ex-soldier’s homicide trial (con't)

      Sally Van Gysel
      Petition Organizer

      Thomas, 32, of Upper St. Clair, is accused of killing Vaughn Simonelli, 55, of Washington, in the Shop ’n Save parking lot Oct. 18, 2012, after a reported confrontation between the two a...s they drove on Jefferson Avenue. Washington police said Thomas shot Simonelli twice, killing him with a shot to the neck.
      During the brief opening statements this morning, Thomas’ attorney, Frank Walker, said Simonelli was angry and possibly drunk during the encounter. While he doesn’t disagree with the prosecution that his client shot Simonelli, Walker argues that the Iraq and Afghanistan veteran acted in self-defense.
      According to testimony, the incident began at a red light on Jefferson Avenue near the PNC Bank, Subway and Washington High School. First Assistant District Attorney Chad Schneider and witnesses said Thomas was driving his black Hummer erratically, weaving in and out of cars and speeding down the center lane. At one point, Thomas whipped his vehicle in front of Simonelli’s gray sedan

    4. Testimony begins in ex-soldier’s homicide trial (con't)

      Sally Van Gysel
      Petition Organizer

      Witnesses testified that they heard Simonelli yelling that Thomas struck his car.
      At a red light at the intersection of Hall and Jefferson avenues, witnesses testified that Simonelli attempted to block Thomas’ vehicle in, and approached his driver’s side window. A brief argument ensued, and witnesses said Thomas drove roughly 15 feet along the sidewalk to get away from the situation.
      Thomas Cowden, who witnessed the incident while on his way home from work, testified that Simonelli got back into his vehicle and sped off after Thomas’ vehicle, following his into the Shop ’n Save parking lot.
      Witness Roger Anderson said he heard shouts that day as he was walking out of the store. As he pulled from his parking spot, Anderson said he came upon the scene of the fatal confrontation. Anderson said

    5. Testimony begins in ex-soldier’s homicide trial (con't)

      Sally Van Gysel
      Petition Organizer

      Simonelli’s vehicle was parked behind Thomas’, and that Thomas was blocked into his parking spot.
      From his position, Anderson said he could see the back of Simonelli and heard him tell Thomas he wasn’t going anywhere. Anderson said he saw Simonelli further approach Thomas’ driver’s-side door, and later saw him pull back his right hand to throw what he called a “fatal punch” up into the vehicle.
      “It was almost simultaneous,” Anderson said of the punch and the sound of gunshots.
      Anderson said he stayed on the scene until police arrived, and that he saw Thomas make a phone call – he believes to police – right after the incident.
      Schneider argued that the incident occurred outside of Thomas’ vehicle in the parking lot, and that Thomas drew his weapon and threatened to shoot Simonelli. He acknowledged the conflicting reports, and told the jury it was their job to discern the truth.
      (Updated May 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm)
      http://www.observer-reporter.com/article/20140512/NEWS01/140519882

      Testimony begins in ex-soldier's homicide trial

      Clad in a dark suit, Brandon Thomas stared intently in Washington County Judge Katherine Emery's courtroom. Fidgety at times and stoic at others, Thomas watched each of the first six witnesses testify in his case Thomas, 32, of Upper St. Clair, is accused of killing Vaughn Simonelli, 55, of Washington, in the Shop 'n Save parking lot Oct.

    6. Reached 1,500 signatures
    7. Free Brandon Daniel Thomas Facebook Page

      Sally Van Gysel
      Petition Organizer

      https://www.facebook.com/freebrandonthomas
      Over a thousand signatures and yet Brandon Thomas is still without the freedom he so valiantly fought for.

      Free Brandon Daniel Thomas

      Why is a decorated soldier, father, and true American hero being held without bond in the...

    8. Reached 1,000 signatures
    9. Not release or given bail

      Sally Van Gysel
      Petition Organizer

      UPDATE 6: My son went today and here’s his comment;

      “I sat in the preliminary hearing today and listened to the prosecution’s witnesses. Afterwards I was completely at a lost to understand why they did not let Brandon Thomas go. It was a tragic event but I’m beginning to wonder if self-defense really exists as a rule of law.”

      More to follow.....

      http://www.theherdfoundation.com/?p=1401

      Call To Arms- Fellow Sky Soldier Needs Your Help | The Herd Foundation

      On October 18th SSG Brandon Thomas was threatened and attacked by a convicted criminal. Brandon used force necessary to protect his own life and prevent the assailant from harming anyone else in the immediate area.

    10. Mission Complete

      Sally Van Gysel
      Petition Organizer

      UPDATE 5: Files delivered to Mr. Walker. Wishing the Brandon and his family good fortune tomorrow!

      Sally

    11. Petition Delivered

      Sally Van Gysel
      Petition Organizer

      UPDATE 4: At 3:29 p.m today our petition was delivered to the DA’s office in Washington County by my son. At that time the petition included 588 signatures from across the country and the world. Your support and recognition will be heard.

      Tomorrow (Nov 7th) @ 9:30 a.m. (EST) Mr. Brandon Thomas will have his preliminary hearing in Central Court. Wish I could be there but unfortunately due to my recent knee replacement surgery, my son (US Army Retired) will attend as my proxy. He’ll represent us well; otherwise I’ll break this new leg off of mine in his old a$&.

      Mr. Frank Walker (Brandon’s attorney) will get a copy later tonight along with the many heartfelt comments posted. Mr. Walker again sends his heartfelt thanks for your support.

      Sally
      P.S.
      Remember: To email your contacts a link to the petition and ask them to support it by signing it.
      P.S.S.
      Did you vote?

    12. Petition delivery

      Sally Van Gysel
      Petition Organizer

      UPDATE 3 : The Petition delivery is scheduled Mid-afternoon today to the DA’s office, than later in the evening, email the latest copy to Mr. Frank Walker.
      During the follow-up with Mr. Walker, It was decided to leave the petition open should Brandon not be release from any further criminal prosecution. More support can than be given should this continue.

      P.S.
      VOTE!

    13. Donation Link

      Sally Van Gysel
      Petition Organizer

      UPDATE 2:
      Follow up contact with Mr. Walker was made. Direction and logistics of our petition were hammered out.

      Also spoke about the fundraising effort (some of you have asked about) currently ongoing for Brandon. Mr. Walker gave assurances that a “Zimmerman-like problem (ref: http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/29/justice/florida-zimmerman-judge/index.html)” would not occur to donations through

      http://www.theherdfoundation.com/?p=1401

      More to follow but I wanted to pass on the donation link to those that have asked

      Appeals court: Judge in Trayvon Martin case must step down - CNN.com

      (CNN) -- A Florida appeals court granted George Zimmerman's request for a new judge Wednesday, saying the original judge's remarks put Zimmerman in reasonable fear of a fair trial. Zimmerman, 28, is charged with second-degree murder in the February 26 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.

    14. Reached 500 signatures
    15. Contact established

      Sally Van Gysel
      Petition Organizer

      UPDATE: Mr. Walker (Brandon's attorney) has email back thanking us for our support and will follow up soon. Stay tune....

      Remember: To email your contacts a link to the petition and ask them to support it by signing it.

    16. Outpouring of support from across the country!

      Sally Van Gysel
      Petition Organizer

      Wow! Started this out to just get 100 signatures and now we are over 450. I have a call in to Frank Walker (Brandon's attorney). We are awaiting a return call. I want to make sure that in addition to the DA getting a copy that a copy of the finalized petition finds its way before the judge at Brandon's upcoming hearing.

      Logistically, we will have to close the petition soon in order to have it ready in time.

      What more can we do? Email your contacts a link to the petition and ask them to support it by signing it (and do it now). A personal appeal from you will work way better in generating signatures than anything else we could do.

    17. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • christopher Sorafine PROVIDENCE, RI
      • 6 months ago

      Airborne! !! All the way!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Doug Cratch LITTLE COMPTON, RI
      • 9 months ago

      True Friend, Brave American

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Paul Forster FRED, VA
      • 9 months ago

      DO THE RIGHT THING AND RELEASE THIS HERO NOW!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jennifer Head EVANSVILLE, IN
      • 9 months ago

      War is brutal and then we place peace time punishments when we expect to be protected?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Marianne Dobranic EASTLAKE, OH
      • 9 months ago

      Brandon's story is an absolute injustice and goes against his Constitutional rights.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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