Heist movie obsessed homicide/theft suspect Konias
Kenneth J. Konias Jr. apparently is a fan of the 2010 movie “The Town.”
At the Dravosburg man's trial on homicide and theft charges this week, the movie about an armored car heist starring Ben Affleck has been mentioned several times by people who knew Konias before and after he allegedly killed his co-worker at Garda Cash Logistics.
Konias is accused of shooting Michael R. Haines, 31, of East McKeesport in the back of the armored truck that they were operating on Feb. 28, 2012, and stealing approximately $2.3 million from the vehicle.
On Wednesday, Jasmine Rae Underwood, whom Konias dated several times in the months before the incident, said they watched the movie at her home.
On Thursday, two more of Konias' associates — a friend from West Mifflin and a prostitute from Florida — testified that Konias had urged them to watch the movie.
Mark Majorsky, recalled watching the film once with Konias at Majorsky's house.
Emily Elizabeth Pollino, who knew Konias for about a week while he was on the lam for two months in Florida and charged him $2,000 a day for sex and other favors, recalled Konias talking about the movie.
Pollino said Konias told her some of the details of the robbery.
“After a couple of days, he told me he robbed a casino in Pennsylvania and that was it,” she said. Konias told her his “family needed money and his dad was sick.”
She testified that Konias told her he had a partner in the crime and the partner shot somebody.
Pollino, who told the court she knew Konias only as “White Boy,” did an internet search for robberies and found a picture of Konias as a wanted criminal suspect. She told the court she didn't notify police of her discovery because she needed Konias' money for drugs.
“I was getting high and that's all I cared about,” she said.
When FBI agents arrived late on the night of April 23, Pollino answered the door of the apartment unit where she, Konias and others were staying. She said Konias had been in a bedroom with another prostitute when agents arrived and the two came back to her room to ask her to answer the door.
“He just said he was really scared,” Pollino recalled.
Pollino discussed a third prostitute, named Summer, who is believed to have stolen $92,000 from Konias and remains at large.
“He said if he saw her he would kill her,” Pollino said.
According to testimony, Konias told the FBI early on the morning of April 24 that he killed Haines in self-defense when Haines pulled his own gun on Konias in a dispute that started over a faulty piece of scanning equipment used on the truck.
Konias' attorney Charles LoPresti has stood by the defense, saying Konias used poor judgment the day of the shooting and took the money only as an afterthought.
On the fourth day of the trial, prosecutor Robert Schupansky presented witnesses and surveillance video from Rivers Casino and retail outlets in the North Hills that indicate Konias, who was the driver, was ahead of schedule the morning of the robbery and not conducting business in his usual manner.
Rivers Casino employees said Konias was not as talkative as usual and that he stored money in a different part of the truck that day.
A video presented on Thursday showed the Garda truck slowing to a stop in the corner of a parking lot at Home Depot in Ross Park Mall minutes after Konias and Haines picked up money at the store. It is believed Konias shot Haines in the back of the head while the truck was stopped for a period of about 2 1⁄2 minutes.
Home Depot employee Ethan Taylor Gallik, 24, who was arriving at work and could be seen in one of the videos, testified he heard the gunshot but immediately convinced himself the noise must have been something else.
“I didn't think (a gunshot) was possible mid-afternoon near a high-end mall,” he said.
“After the gunshot, I heard the truck start and pull away,” said Gallik, who realized he had heard a gunshot only after news of the shooting broke later in the day. “It was my mistake and I wish I would have reported it right away.”
When Majorsky was on the stand he described a phone call he received from Konias right after the shooting occurred.
Majorsky said Konias sounded upset but would not tell him what was wrong. Majorsky said he asked his friend if he'd been in an accident and Konias said, “No, just guess.”
Majorsky said he asked Konias if he'd been robbed or had some other misfortune befall him, and each time his response was negative.
Finally, Majorsky asked Konias if he'd shot somebody.
“He just went like, ‘Huh.' He just made this noise,” Majorsky said.
He said Konias told him he'd messed up and “my life's over.”
Majorsky later discovered Konias had stopped by his house the day of the shooting to stash $10,000 in a work boot that was on the porch.
Konias also called his friend Patrick John McGinley right after the shooting.
McGinley said Konias opened the conversation by asking him, “What if I told you you never had to work again?”
Konias told McGinley he was having a bad day and prompted him to participate in a guessing game similar to the one Majorsky described.
After several guesses, McGinley asked if Konias had killed someone.
“He said, ‘Yeah.' I was like, ‘What are you talking about?'” McGinley recalled.
McGinley said their conversation drifted and they were talking about sports until Konias again asked him, “‘Will you come with me?' I told him I wasn't going with him. I was going to work.”
McGinley said Konias asked him about extradition laws in Canada and Mexico.
“I thought he was messing around,” McGinley said. “I thought he was lying to me.”
The trial will continue on Monday.
Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or firstname.lastname@example.org.