Monessen shooting suspect nabbed
By Rick Bruni Jr.
Published: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 12:56 a.m.
A Pittsburgh man wanted in the shooting of a Monessen man was captured late Monday after authorities found him hiding in an abandoned church in Wilkinsburg.
Derrick Courtney Jones, 27, whose last known address is 5306 Colombo St., Pittsburgh, was arrested around 11 p.m. at the intersection of South Avenue and Coal Street, according to Lt. Jack Kearney of the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office.
He is being held without bond in the Allegheny County Jail.
Monessen police claim Jones and Rufus Raymond Poindexter shot Brian Simpson several times in the chest on July 6 in a city residence, allegedly over drug money owed to the two. Simpson survived the attack.
Jones is charged in Westmoreland County with attempted homicide, conspiracy to commit homicide, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and firearms not to be carried without a license for the incident.
Poindexter, who was nabbed last month following a foot chase in the Homewood West section of Pittsburgh, is charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, possession of an illegal firearm and reckless endangerment.
He waived his right to a preliminary hearing Sept. 20 before Magisterial District Judge Joseph Dalfonso in Monessen.
Kearney said two fugitive recovery agents were conducting a “warrant sweep” Monday when they found Jones at his mother's South Avenue residence.
Jones had been wanted in Allegheny County for failing to appear at a preliminary hearing in June on a felony gun charge.
Kearney said that after Jones was spotted trying to escape from a rear door, the suspect ran inside, climbed to the rooftop and leaped onto a nearby roof.
From that rooftop, Jones crashed through a glass window and into the former Covenant Who So Ever Will Church of God. Agents who were already out serving warrants in the East Hills section of Wilkinsburg were able to quickly converge, Kearney said.
After agents and police surrounded all three buildings, the Wilkinsburg fire department was called in to pry open the front door.
Kearney said that as a Wilkinsburg K-9 team searched the basement, he and a partner found Jones “lying on the ground, face down, with his hands behind his head.”
Kearney said the sheriff's office did not know about the Westmoreland County warrant until after the arrest.
“After we found out what he was wanted for, it made sense,” Kearney said of Jones' peaceful surrender. “He assumed we knew about the (attempted murder) charges, but all we knew at the time was he was wanted for a gun charge.”
Jones was charged with burglary and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution for the Monday incident.
Kearney said an additional warrant was active for Jones based on witness intimidation and stalking charges by the Westmoreland County District Attorney's Office.
Kearney said the Allegheny sheriff's office planned to make arrangements with Westmoreland County officials to have Jones arraigned on those charges.
Jodi Lynn Cook, 35, of Monessen faces trial on charges of attempted murder, recklessly endangering another person, aggravated assault, conspiracy and use/possession of drug paraphernalia related to the Simpson shooting.
Monessen police said Cook set up Simpson over drug money – purportedly owed to Poindexter and Jones.
Police have yet to identify a third suspect they said was with Jones and Poindexter during the Monessen incident.
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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