On Wednesday, April 17, 2024, KDKA Radio reported that Pennsylvania District Magistrate Xander Orenstein will be removed from the bench for three months of retraining following his decision to release without bail a man accused of leading police on a dangerous high-speed chase down Route 28 at 80 miles per hour.

Sources told KDKA Radio’s Marty Griffin that during his retraining period, Orenstein will not be permitted to preside over any cases. When Griffin contacted Orenstein for comment, the judge declined to respond and ended the call. Police stated that during the pursuit, which began in O’Hara Township and concluded in Pittsburgh, the suspect threw a gun out of his vehicle’s window. Additionally, the man was already out on bond for a prior felony gun charge.

This is not the first time Orenstein has faced criticism for releasing defendants without bail in serious cases. In January, he allowed a man accused of assaulting a 71-year-old man downtown to be freed without posting monetary bail. Furthermore, last September, Orenstein released another suspect apprehended with nine kilograms of fentanyl at the Greyhound station without requiring a cash bond. That individual later missed two court appearances and was recently apprehended during a traffic stop in New York.

Orenstein, who was elected in 2022 and holds his position until 2028, obtained degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Johns Hopkins University. As magistrate judge, he serves parts of Pittsburgh neighborhoods including Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, and Polish Hill.



Source: KDKA Radio