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Slain Leechburg man 'was a good guy'

About Chuck Biedka

By Chuck Biedka

Published: Monday, April 29, 2013, 8:00 p.m.

The Leechburg man stabbed to death over the weekend in Forest County died just hours before he was to attend his grandson's first birthday party.

Donald L. Shay, 43, had begun mending some family fences recently stemming from his separation last fall from his wife, said his brother, Cody.

A Butler man stabbed Shay to death at about 1 a.m. Saturday, according to state police. His grandson's birthday was scheduled for later that day, the brother said.

“My brother was a good guy,” Cody Shay said. “He loved carpentry, he loved his (contracting) business and, most of all, he loved his family.”

Shay died along with his girlfriend, Marcelle I. Edwards, 42, at her home in Green Township on the edge of the Allegheny National Forest, a few miles east of Tionesta.

Forest County Coroner Norman J. Wimer said his investigation showed the accused killer, Scott A. Black, 37, of Butler, had been engaged to Edwards. Wimer said he was told Edwards ended the relationship in late December.

Cody Shay said his family has a camp near Tionesta, and that's how his brother met Edwards.

Both state police and Forest County District Attorney Elizabeth A. Ziegler were saying little Monday.

“I'm not disclosing any additional information regarding this incident at this time,” Ziegler said.The affidavit filed in the case states Black arrived at Edward's trailer at about 1 a.m. and assaulted her and Shay. Edwards died of a single throat wound; Shay died of multiple stab wounds. He was found on the porch; she was in the kitchen.

Black surrendered to police later that morning without incident, police said.Forest County doesn't have a jail, so Black is in the Warren County jail pending a preliminary hearing set for May 7.

State police said an unnamed witness saw Black struggling with Edwards and Shay. Wimer said the witness was a relative of Edwards, who ran to a nearby house where Edwards' mother lives. The mother called police, the coroner said.Edwards worked part time waitress as a waitress at the Hunters Station Golf Course and Restaurant near Tionesta.

Co-workers shocked

Co-worker Tonya McWilliams told the Oil City Derrick newspaper that she was in shock over her friend's death.

“Everybody's shocked and we don't know what to say. She was great. She was always there to cheer you up and always smiling,” McWilliams said.Wimer, who is also a funeral director, said he also knew Edwards from the restaurant.

“She was bubbly Friendly,” he said.

Wimer said Black is thought to have spent the winter in the Butler area but had been staying in recent weeks in a pop-up trailer a few miles from Edwards' trailer.

Shay served in the Army during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. He was active in the Buffalo Township Emergency Medical Service, where his mother, Roxanne, is the president.

Shay's complete obituary appears on page A4.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or cbiedka@tribweb.com.

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