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Penn Hills teen could spend life in prison for killing mentally challenged girl

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By Adam Brandolph
Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, 5:57 p.m.

An Allegheny County judge on Monday ordered a Penn Hills teenager to serve 60 years to life in prison for killing a mentally challenged girl and setting her home on fire.

A jury in May found Akeem Page-Jones, 18, guilty of first-degree murder, arson and related charges in the death of Teesa Williams, 17, in her Penn Hills home on March 17, 2011. He did not speak to Common Pleas Judge Jill Rangos during his sentencing hearing.

Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Walker said Page-Jones shot Williams in the chin at point-blank range. He stashed a PlayStation 3 video game in a purse, she said, and when he heard her gasping for breath, he wrapped her in an afghan and set her on fire.

Walker said Page-Jones ignited the blanket with paper towels and ran from the house with the purse and PlayStation.

Firefighters found Williams' body in her bedroom.

Her mother, Theresa Williams Dawson, said Teesa was a special-needs student at Penn Hills High School, where she took “life skills” classes to learn to live independently.

“She was very loving and caring,” Dawson said. “She wanted to do everything right all the time.”

Prosecutors said the two were friends, although they went to different schools. He attended the Behavior Emotional Support Training school for troubled students in Penn Hills.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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