Ban Sought on Using Defendant’s Nickname

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Arguments were held Friday in a Pennsylvania criminal case about whether the defendant may be referred to as "scuz" during the course of his murder trial.  Defense attorney Laurence Harmelin argued that the term would prejudice the jury, and cited dictionary definitions of "scuzzy" as "dirty, shabby or foul in condition or nature," and the related term "scuzzball," meaning "an unpleasant, dirty or dangerous person; [a] creep."

Assistant DA Lorraine Finnegan said the term had to be used, because that is the defendant’s nickname.  "All of these witnesses are going to have to call him by the name they know," she said.

Demetrius "Scuz" Fiorentino is on trial for a murder that allegedly took place during a botched drug deal.  The judge has not yet ruled on the request to preclude mention of his nickname.

AP via SF