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DA confident case will be solved

| Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

There were no new developments Friday in the investigation of a Monday morning murder in Monessen, but authorities were getting closer to breaking the case, according to Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck.

“I would say there's been a fair amount of progress,” Peck said. “I think investigators believe they will solve the case.”

In addition, authorities are still seeking the whereabouts of Antoine “Tweezy” Hairston of 673 McMahon Ave. in Monessen.

Hairston is wanted on charges in relation to an attempted shooting Monday afternoon at the Highland Manor housing project. He is charged with attempted homicide, attempted aggravated assault, conspiracy — criminal homicide, and conspiracy — aggravated assault.

“We are making efforts to locate him through various means,” Peck said, declining to offer details.

Three other suspects, Josh and Terrance Stepoli and Ethan “Earl” Pinkney, are currently in Westmoreland County Prison on $100,000 bond for the same charges. Their preliminary hearings are tentatively scheduled for Dec. 14 in front of Magisterial District Judge Joseph Dalfonso.

Samone Stepoli, 21, turned herself in Tuesday on the same charges but was able to post the $10,000 bond and was released.

According to court documents, the five were charged for allegedly attacking Jaisen Irwin around 4 p.m. Monday. Irwin told police the group chased and shot at him for trying to implicate them in the fatal shooting Monday of Chris Fincik, 36, at his Maple Avenue home.

Peck said he doesn't anticipate any major developments this weekend in the death of Fincik, 36, who was shot and killed near the back door of his residence. Fincik was to be buried today at Monongahela Cemetery.

Monessen police and Westmoreland County detectives continued conducting interviews Friday afternoon on both cases, according to Chief Mark Gibson.

When asked if he thought Hairston had skipped town or was just hiding locally, Gibson would not comment, saying, “We're following up leads on where he might be.”

Peck said he did not foresee authorities posting reward money for Hairston's arrest or for the arrest and conviction of Fincik's killer.

“Usually that's a technique that's used when police efforts have been fruitless, and that's not the case here,” Peck said. “This only happened on Monday so it's still rather early. It's been my experience that rewards are offered when an investigation has reached a dead end.”

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635.

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