2 Monessen teens accused of witness intimidation
By Rick Bruni Jr.
Published: Friday, March 8, 2013, 1:41 a.m.
Two Monessen residents were accused Thursday of using guns to intimidate the key witness in a case involving five people charged in the attempted murder of a city man.
Jashawn Mackall, 19, of 603 Park Manor was arrested at his residence 12:30 p.m. by Monessen police.
He was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Charles Christner in West Newton and placed in the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bond.
Mackall is charged with one felony count of intimidation of a witness. He faces three misdemeanor counts of terroristic threats and single counts of loitering and prowling at night and criminal conspiracy.
A 17-year-old male, who faces the same charges, was arrested Thursday morning at 474 Reed Ave., according to Monessen police Chief Mark Gibson. He was taken to the Westmoreland County Juvenile Detention Center.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Mackall and the juvenile were carrying handguns Feb. 28 when they approached Jaisen Irwin as he and two friends were unloading a van at 535 Summit Ave.
“I think they were just showing the guns,” Gibson said. “I don't think they said anything (to Irwin).”
Five people are awaiting trial for the alleged attempted murder of Irwin on Dec. 4 at Highland Manor: Josh Stepoli, Terrance Stepoli, Samone Stepoli, Earl Pinkney and Antoine Hairston.
Irwin provided key testimony at the preliminary hearings of all five before Magisterial District Judge Joseph Dalfonso in Monessen.
Police said Mackall and the 17-year-old are “associates” of those individuals.
Irwin has not been staying in Monessen since the preliminary hearings, but his family members have been subjected to occasional, ongoing harassment, Gibson said.
Mackall's preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 15 before Dalfonso.
Josh and Terrance Stepoli and Pinkney are scheduled to stand trial May 6 before Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge John Blahovec.
Hairston's and Samone Stepoli's trial dates have not been set.
Pinkney also is scheduled to stand trial June 3 for the Dec. 3 murder of Chris “Snax” Fincik in Monessen.
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2635.
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