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Konias asked pal to flee with him moments after armed-car heist, slaying

| Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, 1:30 p.m.
Submitted
Thursday marked the fifth day of the trial of Ken Konias Jr., charged with homicide and burglary for the death of Michael Haines, 31, of East McKeesport, on Feb. 28, 2012 and fleeing to Florida. Police recovered more than $1 million in the theft from the armored car Konias and Haines guarded.
Emily Pollino, witness in the murder case against Ken Konias.

Patrick McGinley knew something was wrong from the phone call he received in the middle of the day and the sound in his friend's voice.

“I told him I was getting ready for work, and he said, ‘What if I told you, you never have to work again?'” McGinley, 26, testified in court on Thursday, recalling his conversation with Ken Konias Jr. shortly after 1 p.m. Feb. 28, 2012.

“He said he did something bad, so I asked him if he got a girl pregnant. He said no,” McGinley said.

“Then, kind of tongue-in-cheek, I asked him, ‘You kill somebody?' Then he paused and said, ‘Yeah.' He said, ‘Will you come with me?' ”

Konias, 23, of Dravosburg is charged with homicide and burglary in the slaying of Michael Haines, 31, his armored-car partner from East McKeesport. Prosecutors say he fled to Florida with $2.3 million.

His trial before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge David Cashman will resume on Monday, when Assistant District Attorney Robert Schupansky is expected to call forensic experts to discuss the crime scene before resting his case.

Schupansky said Konias called McGinley 15 minutes after Garda truck No. 5678 was seen in a surveillance video stopping for 2 12 minutes in a parking lot at Home Depot in Ross and 20 minutes before police say Konias ditched the truck under the 31st Street Bridge in the Strip District with Haines' body in the back.

An AT&T call log shows Konias called Mark Majorsky, another friend, about 1:30 p.m. the day of Haines' death. Majorsky, 24, testified that when he asked Konias if he was having a rough day, Konias replied, “You might say that.”“I asked, what happened? Did you hit somebody (with the Garda truck)? He said, ‘No, just guess.' Did you shoot somebody? He just made this noise like ‘Ugh,' ” Majorsky said. “The way he grunted, I knew it was a yes.”

Police said Konias made efforts to give money to friends and family before heading south.

When he arrived in Pompano Beach, Fla., Konias met Emily Pollino, 24, a “high-level” escort, whom he paid $2,000 a night in exchange for sex.

Pollino testified on Thursday that Konias told her he had stacks of cash because he robbed a Pennsylvania casino to support his family, including a sick father.

Asked why she didn't call police upon learning that Konias was wanted in Pennsylvania, Pollino replied, “I was getting high, and that was all I cared about. I just cared about the money.”

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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