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Monessen man convicted of lesser charges in uncle's shooting

| Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

A Monessen man was convicted Thursday of shooting his uncle earlier this year in Rostraver because of a dispute over a woman.

Jurors deliberated about five hours before they convicted 19-year-old Keyonta McIntyre of felony counts of aggravated assault and a firearms offense.

The eight-man, four-woman jury failed to reach a verdict on a more serious charge of attempted murder for the May 31 shooting of McIntyre's uncle, 24-year-old Adonta Rainey.

Assistant District Attorney Jackie Knupp said she will review the case and decide soon whether to retry McIntyre on the attempted murder charge.

As a result of convictions, McIntyre faces up to 17 years in prison, Knupp said.

McIntyre will be sentenced in about three months by Westmoreland County Judge John E. Blahovec.

Public Defender Jack Manderino said the verdict signaled the jury's rejection of the claims that McIntrye shot his uncle in self-defense.

“But some of the jurors must not have believed he intended to kill the victim,” Manderino said.

Police and the victim contended that McIntyre lured Rainey from a Monessen gas station and the two drove in separate vehicles to a secluded spot near Rostraver Apartments, where McIntyre ambushed him and fired two shots.

One of the shots hit Rainey in the lower abdomen, causing him to be hospitalized for several days.

The men were fighting over a woman, according to Rainey. He testified that there was bad blood between him and his nephew when McIntyre started dating the mother of Rainey's child.

McIntyre did not testify during the short, two-day trial, as the defense presented just one witness.

That witness, Kathy Oaks — who lives near the shooting scene — told jurors she heard “two or three pops” and saw one man run from the location where police say the incident occurred.

Oaks could not identify either man involved, but said one of the men worn a blue tank top, which witnesses previously testified was worn by Rainey.

Manderino told jurors there was not enough evidence to sustain convictions against McIntyre, whose actions constituted self-defense.

“A person has a right to defend themselves,” Manderino said in his closing argument.

The defense maintained that it was Rainey who chased McIntrye, then threatened him, potentially with a gun, which led to the defendant having to defend himself.

Rostraver Detective Kerry August testified that McIntrye admitted to shooting Rainey, but did so in self-defense.

Knupp told jurors there was no evidence to support that claim.

She said police found no weapons on Rainey or at the shooting scene. And McIntyre, she told jurors, acted as a guilty man by fleeing the scene, discarding his car, throwing his gun into the Monongahela River, and hiding out at a Rostraver motel until he was eventually arrested by police.

“There was just one gun there and it was, in fact, the gun shot by the defendant,” Knupp said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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