Office of the District Attorney

Meet the Department

Josh LamancusaJoshua Lamancusa, District Attorney

DA’s Biography: District Attorney Joshua D. Lamancusa was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania. He attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon National Fraternity and Denison University football team. Joshua was also active in campus government holding several elected positions, including student body Vice President, Chair of the Board of Co-Governors, and Chair of the Committee on Residential Life. In 1995, he was the sole recipient of the Nelson Griely Award for campus leadership and he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Economics. In 1995, Joshua attended The Ohio State University located in Columbus, Ohio, to pursue a Masters Degree in Finance. In 1996, Joshua applied for admission to and was accepted into Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.

Joshua earned his Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University in 1999. During his law school tenure, he was a member of Case Western Reserve’s National Moot Court Team, a Staff Editor for Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, and an Appellate Brief Advisor.

In 1999, Joshua was accepted into the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG Corps) and was commissioned the rank of Ensign. He attended Officer Indoctrination School and Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island. After six short months, Ensign Lamancusa was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade and was stationed at the Trial Service Office East at Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia. Naval Station Norfolk is the largest naval base in the world and the Trial Service Office East is the busiest prosecution office in the U.S. Navy.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Lamancusa quickly advanced up the chain of command and was designated a Trial Counsel Team Leader, responsible for the supervision and prosecution of all cases assigned to a team of 3 full time prosecutors and 2 paralegals. He excelled in this leadership position and shortly thereafter; Lieutenant Junior Grade Lamancusa was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and was named Assistant Chief Trial Counsel. He was responsible for all prosecutions and case management at Naval Station Norfolk, as well as for the supervision of 11 full time prosecutors, 4 paralegals and 2 civilians.
Lieutenant Lamancusa completed his three-year tour of duty in Norfolk, Virginia and was assigned to the Navy Legal Service Command in Naples, Italy. He was assigned the role of defense counsel and was eventually promoted to the position of Division Officer of the command’s Claims Department. Lieutenant Lamancusa managed the Naples office and four branch offices located in England, Spain, Sicily and Bahrain. While on active duty Lieutenant Lamancusa received numerous awards and commendations including two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the National Defense Medal, Oversea Service Ribbon and various weapon citations.

In 2005, Lieutenant Lamancusa resigned his active duty commission and returned to Lawrence County to begin private practice. Joshua maintained a general practice, specializing in criminal and civil litigation. He was and continues to be active in numerous community organizations, including the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was formerly the Solicitor and a Member of the Board of Directors for the United Way; and was a member of the Board of Trustees for the New Castle Public Library. He has served both the Pennsylvania and Lawrence County Bar Associations as a Zone Delegate, and he has served as Chair and Member of the Executive Committee for the Young Lawyers Division of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. On January 4, 2010 Joshua Lamancusa was sworn in as the duly elected District Attorney of Lawrence County.

District Attorney Lamancusa leads an office of professional prosecutors dedicated to the pursuit of justice and the protection of the people of Lawrence County and the State of Pennsylvania. District Attorney Lamancusa is the head of the Lawrence County Drug Task Force, Special Investigations Unit, and Sexual Assault Task Force. He is also a member of the Lawrence County Prison board, Animal Relief Fund, and New Visions community organization. District Attorney Lamancusa was the 2010 recipient of the Lawrence County Crisis Shelter Peace Award, a 2011 state senate commendation for prosecutorial initiatives, and a 2011 state senate commendation for narcotics policing conducted by the Special Operations Unit.

Department Description

Mission of the District Attorney’s Office: The mission of the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office is to pursue justice and protect the people of the County of Lawrence and the State of Pennsylvania by aggressively and fairly prosecuting those who violate the law.

We employ individuals of character and courage who provide the highest quality legal representation seeking justice for victims of crime and conscientiously seek to improve the criminal justice system by creating positive relationships with law enforcement and other community organizations.

Our vision is to enhance the quality of life in our community, to be leaders in quality prosecution, to aggressively advocate the cause of justice and, above all, to make Lawrence County a safer place to live.

Role of the District Attorney’s Office: The District Attorney is both the public prosecutor and the chief law enforcement officer of the county. He is charged with the duty of investigating as well as prosecuting all cases alleging criminal conduct. His authority to investigate the facts before acting is discretionary and his jurisdiction is countywide. No one may institute criminal proceedings without the concurrence, approval and/or authorization of the District Attorney.

The position of District Attorney is established by the Pennsylvania Constitution and the District Attorney is elected to a four year term. The District Attorney acts both as a county officer and as a state officer in performing the duties of the office.

Assistant District Attorneys

Assistant District Attorneys work under the direction of the District Attorney and represent the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in criminal cases filed within Lawrence County. The District Attorney’s Office employs six full-time and one part-time Assistant District Attorneys.

Diane Shaffer, Deputy District Attorney
Area of Expertise: Narcotics and Violent Crimes
Education: Juris Doctorate, University of Akron School of Law
BA in Political Science, Slippery Rock University
Contact: 724-656-1917 | dshaffer@co.lawrence.pa.us

Luanne Parkonen, Assistant District Attorney
Area of Expertise: DUI, Theft & Domestic Violence
Education: Juris Doctorate, Duquesne University School of Law
BA in Political Science, Westminster College
Contact: 724-656-2197 | lparkonen@co.lawrence.pa.us

Jonathan Miller, Assistant District Attorney
Area of Expertise: Child Abuse/Sexual Assault Crimes
Education: Juris Doctorate, University of Pittsburgh
BA in Political Science, University of Pittsburgh
Contact: 724-656-2155 | jmiller@co.lawrence.pa.us

Thomas Minett, Assistant District Attorney
Area of Expertise: Homicide and Death Penalty Cases
Education: Juris Doctorate, Ohio Northern University School of Law
BA in Political Science, Slippery Rock University
Contact: 724-656-2195 | tminett@co.lawrence.pa.us

William Flannery, Assistant District Attorney
Area of Expertise: Violent Offenses and Property Crimes
Education: Juris Doctorate, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
BA in Philosophy, West Virginia University
Contact: 724-656-2199 | wflannery@co.lawrence.pa.us

Jessica Barson, Assistant District Attorney
Area of Expertise: Juvenile Adjudication, Property Crimes and Violent Offenses
Education: Juris Doctorate, Duquesne University School of Law
BS in Business Management, Virginia Tech
Contact: 724-656-2446 | jbarson@co.lawrence.pa.us

Drug Task Force:

Frank Drew, Director

Toll Free Drug Tip Hotline: (855) 564-6116

To serve and protect the interests of the People of Lawrence County it is necessary to constitute an organization of law enforcement officers with multi-jurisdictional authority dedicated to effectively and efficiently investigate and prosecute illegal drug activity.
In furtherance of this mission a Task Force has been created with the stated goals of intercepting and preventing all drug trafficking activities throughout the County; impeding all drug related activities within the County; and identifying and prosecuting all individuals engaged in drug related activities through the use of coordinated police efforts, undercover operations and modern surveillance techniques. These efforts shall serve to decrease the availability of illegal drugs in areas policed by the Task Force; to deter drug trafficking and illegal narcotics by increasing the risk of detection, apprehension, prosecution and conviction of individuals; to decrease the profitability of drug trafficking by seizing and forfeiting illegally obtained assets, and to provide educational platforms for participating agency personnel, local school systems and other community based organizations.

The Task Force will seek to accomplish these goals by targeting street, mid and major level drug dealers and traffickers. Policing efforts will include combined cooperation with local, state and federal drug enforcement officers. The area of operation for the Task Force is the boundaries of the County of Lawrence and any member officer acting on behalf of the Task Force is authorized to perform related policing activities anywhere within the County. The Task Force shall be comprised of officers selected by member police agency chief’s and approved by the District Attorney of Lawrence County.

Humane Officer

Detective Stacey Wiley

Animal Abuse Hotline: (855) 870-8081

The District Attorney’s Office and local law enforcement agencies are responsible for the investigation and prosecution of any act of abuse and/or cruelty towards animals of any kind. In furtherance of this mission, our office has employed Detective Stacey Wiley as a full-time Humane Officer. Detective Wiley is charged with the duty to investigate and prosecute all individuals responsible for the commission of crimes against animals.

“I believe that we have a duty and a responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Animal abuse and/or cruelty should never be permitted nor tolerated within a community, and I will do all I can to hold those individuals who are responsible for crimes committed against animals.” –District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa

What the Humane Officer Does

The Humane Officer investigates reports of animal abuse, neglect and/or cruelty committed within Lawrence County. She is responsible for the issuance of animal license warnings, citations for failure to comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the criminal prosecution of all offenders. Persons wishing to report abuse, neglect and/or cruelty may contact the Humane Officer by calling the toll-free tip line listed above. The Humane Office will respond to and investigate all tips received, including those for large, domesticated animals and exotic pets.

What the Humane Officer Does Not Do

The Humane Officer does not respond to calls concerning lost, stray or nuisance animals, nor shall she respond to any matter involving pest control and/or wild animals. If your call is related to one of these concerns please contact the Lawrence County Dog Warden, the Lawrence County Game Commission and/or a private pest control service.

Some programs we offer:

  • Bad Check Program
  • Courthouse to Classrooms
  • Neighborhood Watch
  • Anonymous Tips
  • Public Awareness Alert Program
  • Volunteer Internships

Other informative pages:

  • Criminal procedure
  • Victim information
  • Researching cases
  • Law enforcement links

Contact Information for Department:

District Attorney’s Office
430 Court Street
New Castle, PA 16101
Main Office: (724) 656-1915
Fax: (724) 656-1986