"He met with his family," she said. "They were reunited, and he was very happy to be back with his family."
The suspect's mother, Ronda Thaxton, said she last saw her son a few weeks ago when he visited her to do his laundry.
She had a suspicion he was troubled.
"I felt something was wrong, but I just couldn't put my finger on it," Ms. Thaxton said before the surrender.
Pittsburgh police had been in contact with Mr. Thaxton for hours. He and the hostage were in Suite 1625 of the building at 401 Liberty Ave., occupied by Mr. Breitsman's company, CW Breitsman Associates, LLC, a third-party firm that helps administer others' insurance, retirement and pension plans.The firm was founded in 2007 by Mr. Breitsman, an employee benefits expert who formerly served as president of the board of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
Klein Michael Thaxton
Mr. Thaxton's Facebook page was updated even after the hostage was taken. As of about 1 p.m., the page had been taken down.
8:54 a.m.: "i cant take it no more im done bro"
8:56 a.m.: "how this ends is up to yall bro"
9 a.m.: "welln pops youll never have to woryy about me again you'll nevr need to by me anything no need to ever waste ur hard earned money on me. i'll live n jail you dnt want me around anymore thats kool bye"
9:03 a.m.: "this life im livn rite now i dnt want anymore ive lost everything and i aint gettn it back"
11:16 a.m.: In a plea for people to stop posting "silly" things to his page, "i aint laughin rite now"
Officials got the page shut down because it was "distracting," Chief Harper said.
Mr. Thaxton has earned the attention of police before.
In July 2011, Mr. Thaxton was arrested for a variety of charges, including recklessly endangering others and receiving stolen property, after he was accused of stealing a car in McKeesport. Police said he led them on a chase from Oakland through the South Hills and back into the city. He was captured after leaping from the roof of an auto body shop in Uptown and injuring his ankle.
He was then arrested in September 2011, and charged with robbery and related crimes.
Mr. Thaxton was admitted to a Veterans' Court program in November.
As part of his service plan, dated Dec. 29, he agreed to participate in a dual inpatient treatment facility, and at the conclusion of the program would move to a half-way house.
Mr. Thaxton agreed to cooperate with any recommended mental health and drug and alcohol treatment as well.
Mr. Thaxton was accepted into inpatient treatment through Pyramid Wilkinsburg.
In January, he pleaded guilty to robbery, receiving stolen property, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. He was sentenced to six to 12 months incarceration, but was immediately paroled to placement.
To qualify for Veterans' Court, a defendant must be either active duty or a veteran who has been diagnosed with an Axis I mental health disorder and is currently facing criminal charges. Mr. Thaxton's court files do not make clear what his diagnosis was or what branch of the military he was in.
According to court records, Mr. Thaxton's probation officer filed a violation notice with the court May 23, noting that he was at Altoona Hospital at the time. He was scheduled for a violation hearing on June 13, but it is unclear what happened at that hearing.
His next scheduled court appearance was to be Nov. 8 with Judge John A. Zottola in veterans' court.
PG graphic: Map of Gateway Center area (Click image for larger version)
Sadie Gurman: firstname.lastname@example.org. Rich Lord: email@example.com. Timothy McNulty, Michael A. Fuoco, Bill Schackner and Lillian Thomas contributed.
(c)2012 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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