Police arrest 2 Monessen residents after shooting incident; 3 more sought
Two Monessen residents were sent to prison Tuesday on charges stemming from a Monday afternoon shooting incident that police say happened over an earlier homicide in the city.
Monessen police and the Westmoreland County Sheriff's office arrested Earl Pinkney, 18, of McMahon Ave. around 11 a.m. while Samone Stepoli, 21, of Grand Boulevard turned herself in late in the afternoon.
Three other suspects were still at large as of Tuesday evening: Antoine “Tweezy” Hairston, 19; Josh Stepoli, 18; and Terrence Stepoli, 20, all of Monessen.
All five suspects are charged with felony counts of criminal attempt — criminal homicide, criminal attempt — aggravated assault, conspiracy — criminal homicide and conspiracy — aggravated assault.
The charges stem from an alleged shooting around 4 p.m. Monday at Highland Manor, a housing project in Monessen. According to the affidavit of probable cause, the five confronted and fired several shots at Jaisen Irwin, no address available, of Monessen.
Irwin told police he was sitting outside the Elks Club on Knox Avenue when a blue car, possibly a Ford Taurus, driven by Samone Stepoli pulled up. Irwin said Terrence Stepoli got out of the car and walked toward him, accusing him of telling people he and the others were involved in Monday's murder of Chris “Snax” Fincik.
Fincik, 36, was shot multiple times and killed at 12:25 a.m. Monday while answering the back door at his 902 Maple Ave. residence. No charges have been filed in Fincik's death.
Irwin told police Stepoli tried to slap him in the face before three others, identified as Pinkney, Hairston and Josh Stepoli, got out of the car and eventually chased Irwin down concrete steps, called the “office building stairs” to Highland Manor. That's when Irwin said he saw a beam — supposedly from a gun sight — shining on a staircase pillar. Irwin then said he heard a gunshot.
Irwin told police he ducked inside an apartment when he heard a second shot and closed the door. He then looked out an upstairs window and saw three people flee the scene.
Monessen patrolman David Winkler, who responded to the incident, found a semi-automatic .45 caliber handgun with a laser sight approximately 300 feet south of the steps, police said.
The Stepoli brothers — both former standout basketball players for Monessen High School and Greensburg Central Catholic — were recently sentenced for an April incident in Charleroi. During a traffic stop, police found a stolen handgun under Terrence Stepoli's seat and another in Joshua Stepoli's pocket.
Three teams of armed officers made three arrests Tuesday morning of Pinkney and an unidentified male and female without incident. The male and female were both questioned and later released.
Pinkney and Samone Stepoli were both arraigned Tuesday evening in front of Magisterial District Justice Joseph Dalfonso, who re-opened his office so the arraignments did not have to go to night court.
Pinkney was sent to Westmoreland County Jail in Hempfield Township after he was unable to post the $100,000 cash bond. Likewise, Stepoli was sent to the jail when she did not post a $10,000 cash bond.
Both suspects have preliminary hearings scheduled at 11 a.m. Dec. 14 in front of Dalfonso.
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-684-2635.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- N. Belle Vernon hires police officers
- Ringgold teachers OK four-year deal
- Charleroi’s Zelich eager to start new school year
- Annual St. Spyridon Greek food fest held in Monessen
- Denying risk not a solution
- North Charleroi retiree spent almost 4 decades in medical profession
- New police chief dedicated to North Belle Vernon
- Mon Valley school districts set to begin new year
- Visiting Italians welcomed to sister city of Monongahela
- Italians savor rich Mon City moments
- Stockdale fire, N. Charleroi crash keep emergency personnel hopping